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Tutorial: How to remove duplicate data in a spreadsheet in Excel

If your spreadsheet includes duplicate data, you can tidy it up using the Remove Duplicates tool in Excel. Discover how in this tutorial by Sean McManus, from the book 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

You can remove duplicated data in a spreadsheet, which can easily happen if data such as mailing list information is combined from multiple sources.

  1. Click in your data so Excel can find it.

  2. Click Remove Duplicates on the Data tab of the ribbon. You'll find it in the Data Tools group.

  3. Select the columns that you want to check for duplicate entries. It's safest to keep them all selected. If you just selected the First Name and Last Name (for example), two different people who share a name would be identified as duplicates, even though they have different addresses. One of them would be automatically deleted. This doesn't happen if you select the address fields as well.

    screenshot of Excel showing the Remove Duplicates dialog box

  4. Click OK. Beware, though, as that might delete rows from your spreadsheet. Use Undo immediately to bring them back if you made a mistake.

Where next?

About 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

This tutorial is from 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel. The powerful pocketbook helps you to learn more from your data, be more productive with Excel, and improve the accuracy of your spreadsheets. It's packed with shortcuts, tips, and hacks for Excel that solve everyday business problems. Find out more and download a free PDF sampler here, and order the book online here.

Book cover: 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

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