How to Delete Duplicates in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Easy Cleanup

how to delete duplicates in excel

Got too many duplicate entries in your Excel spreadsheet? No problem! Deleting duplicates is a breeze if you know the right steps. By following a few simple instructions, you can quickly clean up your data, ensuring it’s both accurate and easy to work with. Let’s walk through the process together.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Delete Duplicates in Excel

We’re going to show you how to identify and remove duplicate entries from your Excel worksheet. This will help in tidying up your data and making it more manageable.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

First, open the Excel file that contains the data where you want to remove duplicates.

Before you start anything, make sure your file is ready to go. Double-check that all the necessary data is in place and that the file is saved. This will help avoid any mishaps.

Step 2: Select the Data Range

Next, highlight the area in your worksheet that you want to check for duplicates.

Select the cells that contain the data you want to filter. If you want to look at the entire sheet, click the small triangle at the top left corner to select everything.

Step 3: Go to the Data Tab

Click on the "Data" tab located at the top of the Excel window.

This tab houses all the tools you’ll need for data management, including the ‘Remove Duplicates’ feature. It’s your one-stop shop for cleaning up your spreadsheet.

Step 4: Click Remove Duplicates

Now, click the “Remove Duplicates” button in the "Data Tools" group.

A new window will pop up, asking you which columns you want to check for duplicates. You can select or deselect columns based on your needs.

Step 5: Choose Columns to Check

Select the columns you want to include in the duplicate check and click OK.

Be mindful of the columns you choose. If you have multiple columns and you want to check for duplicates in each one, make sure they are all selected.

Step 6: Review Results

Excel will show a message indicating how many duplicate values were found and removed.

You’ll also see how many unique values remain. This quick summary can give you a sense of how cluttered your data was before and how clean it is now.

After completing these steps, your data will be free from duplicates, and you’ll have a much cleaner, more accurate dataset to work with.

Tips on How to Delete Duplicates in Excel

Here are some handy tips to make the process even smoother:

  • Always save a backup of your original file before removing duplicates, just in case.
  • Use filters to narrow down specific data ranges before running the ‘Remove Duplicates’ tool.
  • If your dataset has headers, make sure to check the "My data has headers" box in the Remove Duplicates window.
  • Take advantage of Conditional Formatting to highlight duplicates before removing them.
  • Consider using Excel formulas like COUNTIF or VLOOKUP to identify duplicates manually if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I remove duplicates in Excel?

When you remove duplicates, Excel deletes the repeated entries, leaving only unique values in your selected range.

Can I undo the removal of duplicates?

Yes, you can undo the removal by pressing Ctrl + Z immediately after performing the action.

Does removing duplicates delete the entire row?

Excel removes only the duplicate values, not the entire row, unless the entire row is a duplicate.

Will Excel tell me how many duplicates were removed?

Yes, Excel will display a message indicating the number of duplicates removed and the number of unique values remaining.

Can I remove duplicates based on multiple columns?

Absolutely! You can select multiple columns in the Remove Duplicates window to check for duplicates across those columns.


  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Select the data range.
  3. Go to the Data tab.
  4. Click Remove Duplicates.
  5. Choose columns to check.
  6. Review results.


Learning how to delete duplicates in Excel can be a game-changer for anyone working with large amounts of data. Think of it as spring cleaning for your spreadsheet. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your data remains accurate and manageable. Remember, always double-check which columns you’re working with and save a backup before making any changes. With this handy guide, you’ll become proficient in no time, and your Excel skills will be sharper than ever. If you found this helpful, consider exploring more Excel tips and tricks to keep boosting your productivity. Happy data cleaning!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy