Remove Duplicates

Explanation

Remove Duplicates is a popular Excel tool that lets the user remove duplicates from a column or a set of columns. 

When applied on a range with more than one column, the Remove Duplicates tool will remove the entire row of the duplicate value. 

We can access the Remove Duplicates tool by first selecting the desired range for duplicates removal, then navigating to the Data ribbon in Excel, and then clicking Remove Duplicates

Please note that for each set of duplicate values, Remove Duplicates will keep the first duplicate value, and remove the rest.

Example

Let’s see an example of removing duplicates in a single column of names:

Note that Excel identified that the first cell is the header of your column, therefore excluded it from the range for duplicate removal. You can untick the “My data has headers” if you wish to include the first cell as well. 

Removing Duplicates in a range of more than one column

When removing duplicates in a range with multiple columns, we have two options:

First option – Remove duplicates based on one column. This will look for duplicates in the selected column, but remember that it removes the entire row!

Let’s see an example of this;

As you can see, we had duplicates in number 6,7,8 – And they were removed, while the first rows were kept intact.

Second option – Remove duplicates based on a number of columns. This option will look for duplicates in each of the selected columns, and remove any row in which ALL Columns contain a duplicate value!

For example:

Easy, right?

Practice Remove Duplicates

Now, let’s practice a little bit. 

Click here to download a practice spreadsheet for the Remove Duplicates tool in Excel!