If you work with data on Microsoft Excel, you may have come across a common issue of having duplicate entries in your spreadsheet. While duplicates may not necessarily harm your data, it can cause confusion and inaccuracies in your analysis. Thankfully, Excel provides a simple solution to delete duplicates and clean up your spreadsheet. In this article, we will discuss how to delete duplicates in Excel.

Step 1: Identify the duplicates
Before you delete duplicates in Excel, you must first identify them. Excel has a built-in feature that allows you to find and highlight duplicates. To use this feature, select the range of cells you want to search for duplicates, then navigate to the ‘Home’ tab and click on ‘Conditional Formatting.’ From the dropdown, select ‘Highlight Cells Rules’ and then ‘Duplicate Values.’ Excel will highlight all the duplicate entries in your range.

Step 2: Remove duplicates
After identifying the duplicate entries, you can now remove them. Excel provides two options for removing duplicates – ‘Remove Duplicates’ and ‘Filter.’

Option 1: Remove Duplicates
To use this option, select the range of cells containing the duplicates you want to remove. Then, navigate to the ‘Data’ tab and click on ‘Remove Duplicates.’ Excel will display a prompt asking which columns you want to include in the duplicate search. By default, all columns are selected. Click ‘OK’ to remove the duplicates.

Option 2: Filter
The filter option allows you to view the duplicate entries and decide which ones to remove. To use this option, select the range of cells and navigate to the ‘Data’ tab. Click on ‘Filter’ and then on the arrow next to the column with duplicates. Excel will display a dropdown with all the unique values in the column. Click on the checkbox for ‘(Select All)’ to deselect all unique values, then select only the checkbox for ‘(Blanks)’ and click ‘OK.’ Excel will display only the duplicates and blank cells. You can select the duplicate entries you want to remove and then press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.

Step 3: Confirm removal
After removing duplicates, it’s essential to confirm that they are gone. To do this, you can use the ‘Conditional Formatting’ feature again. Select the range of cells and navigate to the ‘Home’ tab. Click on ‘Conditional Formatting’ and then ‘Highlight Cells Rules.’ From the dropdown, select ‘Duplicate Values.’ Excel will show a message that no duplicates were found if you successfully removed them.

Removing duplicates in Excel is a straightforward process that can clean up your spreadsheet and make it easier to analyze. Whether you choose to use the ‘Remove Duplicates’ or ‘Filter’ option, it’s essential to confirm that duplicates are no longer present. By following these simple steps, you can keep your data accurate and avoid confusion in your analysis.