How to Remove Duplicates in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing duplicates in Excel is a common task that many of us face. Whether you’re working with a small data set or a large one, it’s essential to ensure that your data is clean and accurate. Fortunately, Excel has built-in tools that make it easy to identify and remove duplicate entries. In just a few clicks, you can streamline your data and avoid any potential errors that duplicates may cause.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Remove Duplicates in Excel

Removing duplicates in Excel is a straightforward process that can save you time and ensure the accuracy of your data. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Select the Data Range

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to check for duplicates.

When you select the data range, make sure that you include all the columns that you want to check for duplicates. If you have headers, include them in your selection so that Excel knows how to treat them.

Step 2: Go to the Data Tab

Click on the ‘Data’ tab at the top of Excel.

The Data tab contains various tools for working with your data, including the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature.

Step 3: Click ‘Remove Duplicates’

Find and click the ‘Remove Duplicates’ button in the ‘Data Tools’ group.

A dialogue box will appear with options for removing duplicates. You can select or deselect columns to specify where Excel should look for duplicates.

Step 4: Choose Columns

In the dialogue box, check the boxes for the columns you want to check for duplicates.

If you want to check for duplicates based on specific columns, only select those columns. If you want to check the entire row for duplicates, select all columns.

Step 5: Click ‘OK’

After selecting the appropriate columns, click ‘OK’ to remove the duplicates.

Excel will then remove any duplicate rows based on your selection and display a message indicating how many duplicates were found and removed.

After you complete the action, your data set will be free of duplicates. You can now confidently work with your clean data, knowing that each entry is unique. This process can prevent errors in your analysis and reporting, leading to more accurate results.

Tips: How to Remove Duplicates in Excel

  • Always create a backup of your data before removing duplicates, just in case you need to revert to the original data set.
  • Make sure to include headers in your selection if your data has them, so Excel knows how to handle them.
  • If you’re working with a large data set, consider sorting your data before removing duplicates to make it easier to review changes.
  • Use the ‘Undo’ feature (Ctrl + Z) if you accidentally remove something you didn’t intend to.
  • After removing duplicates, use Excel’s ‘Conditional Formatting’ to highlight unique values and double-check your work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove duplicates based on just one column?

Yes, you can select only the column you want to check for duplicates in the ‘Remove Duplicates’ dialogue box.

Will removing duplicates delete my entire row of data?

When Excel finds duplicates based on your selection, it will delete the entire row containing the duplicate values.

Can I undo the action if I remove duplicates by mistake?

Yes, you can use the ‘Undo’ feature in Excel (Ctrl + Z) to revert the changes made by the ‘Remove Duplicates’ tool.

Is there a way to highlight duplicates instead of removing them?

Yes, you can use Excel’s ‘Conditional Formatting’ feature to highlight duplicates without deleting them.

Can I remove duplicates in multiple sheets at once?

No, the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature only works on the active sheet. You’ll have to repeat the process for each sheet separately.


  1. Select the data range.
  2. Go to the Data tab.
  3. Click ‘Remove Duplicates.’
  4. Choose columns.
  5. Click ‘OK.’


Mastering how to remove duplicates in Excel is an essential skill for anyone working with data. Not only does it ensure the integrity of your data, but it also saves you from the headache of sifting through repetitive entries manually. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can quickly clean your data sets, making your work more efficient and accurate.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned Excel user, the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature is a powerful tool that should be a part of your data management toolkit. With the tips provided, you’ll be able to handle duplicates like a pro, leaving you more time to focus on analyzing and interpreting your data. Remember, always keep a backup of your original data and double-check your work to prevent any accidental data loss.

As data continues to play a critical role in decision-making across industries, being proficient in Excel and understanding functions like removing duplicates will undoubtedly give you an edge in your career. So, go ahead and dive into your data with confidence, knowing that you’re equipped with the knowledge to maintain a pristine and duplicate-free dataset.

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