How to Delete Duplicate Rows in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to delete duplicate rows in excel

Ever found yourself knee-deep in data, only to realize you’ve got duplicate rows cluttering up your Excel spreadsheet? It’s a common problem, but the good news is it’s also an easy fix. By following a few straightforward steps, you can quickly identify and delete these duplicates, leaving your data clean and accurate. Let’s dive into how you can accomplish this in just a few minutes.

How to Delete Duplicate Rows in Excel

We’ll walk through the exact steps needed to remove those pesky duplicate rows in Excel. After following these steps, you’ll have a clean dataset, free of any repeated information.

Step 1: Select Your Data

First, highlight the range of cells where you want to remove duplicates.

Selecting your data ensures that Excel knows which part of your spreadsheet to scan for duplicates. Click and drag to highlight the cells, or use Ctrl + A to select the entire worksheet if needed.

Step 2: Go to the Data Tab

Next, navigate to the Data tab on the Excel ribbon.

The Data tab contains the tools you’ll need for managing your data, including the Remove Duplicates feature. It’s located towards the middle of the ribbon, between Formulas and Review.

Step 3: Click Remove Duplicates

Click the Remove Duplicates button in the Data Tools group.

This action opens a dialog box where you can specify which columns Excel should check for duplicates. If you’re looking to remove exact row duplicates, ensure all columns are selected.

Step 4: Confirm Your Selection

In the dialog box, make sure all relevant columns are checked, then click OK.

This step is crucial. Confirming your selection guarantees that Excel will consider the correct columns when identifying duplicates. Missing a column could result in some duplicates being overlooked.

Step 5: Review the Results

Excel will inform you how many duplicate rows were found and removed, as well as how many unique rows remain.

Reviewing the results helps you understand the impact of your action. It’s a quick way to verify that duplicates were successfully removed and to see how much cleaner your data is now.

After following these steps, your Excel spreadsheet will no longer have duplicate rows, meaning your data is now more accurate and easier to analyze.

Tips for Deleting Duplicate Rows in Excel

  • Always make a backup of your data before removing duplicates, just in case you need to retrieve any information.
  • Use Conditional Formatting to highlight duplicates before you remove them to visually verify what will be deleted.
  • Consider using a formula like COUNTIF to create a column that flags duplicates, giving you more control over what gets removed.
  • Check for hidden rows or columns that might contain duplicates you weren’t aware of.
  • Be mindful of trailing spaces and case sensitivity, as "data" and "Data" might be treated differently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I accidentally delete important data?

Don’t worry! You can always use the Undo button (Ctrl + Z) to reverse the action.

Can I remove duplicates based on specific columns?

Yes, in the Remove Duplicates dialog box, you can specify which columns to check for duplicates.

What if I only want to highlight duplicates and not delete them?

Use Conditional Formatting to highlight duplicates without removing them.

Is there a way to automate the removal of duplicates?

You can use Excel macros to automate the process if you regularly need to remove duplicates.

Can I remove duplicates from a pivot table?

No, you need to remove duplicates from the source data before creating the pivot table.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Go to the Data tab.
  3. Click Remove Duplicates.
  4. Confirm your selection.
  5. Review the results.


Deleting duplicate rows in Excel is a breeze once you know the steps. Whether you’re dealing with a small dataset or a massive spreadsheet, these simple steps will help you clean up your data quickly and efficiently. Just remember to make a backup before you start, and consider using tools like Conditional Formatting for extra verification.

Excel is a powerful tool, but it’s only as good as the data you feed it. By removing duplicates, you’re ensuring that your analyses and reports are based on accurate information. So, take a few minutes to clean up your data—your future self will thank you!

For more in-depth guides and tutorials on Excel, be sure to check out other articles and resources. Keep your data clean, and happy spreadsheeting!

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