How To Identify Duplicates In Google Sheets

If you find yourself working with a large dataset, you may need to identify and eliminate duplicate entries to ensure the accuracy of your data. Google Sheets makes this process easy with a few simple formulas and tricks. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to identify duplicates in Google Sheets.

Method 1: Using the ‘COUNTIF’ Function

One common way to identify duplicates in Google Sheets is with the ‘COUNTIF’ function. This function counts the number of times a specific value appears in a range of cells. Here is how you could use it to identify duplicates:

    =COUNTIF(A:A, A1) > 1

In this example, you would replace ‘A:A’ with the range you want to search, and ‘A1’ with the cell you want to check for duplicates. If the formula returns ‘true’, then it is a duplicate. If it returns ‘false’, then it’s unique.

Method 2: Using Conditional Formatting

Another way to identify duplicates is by using Google Sheets’ conditional formatting feature. This method is slightly more visual as it allows you to highlight the duplicate cells. Here are the steps to do this:

  • Select the range of cells you want to check for duplicates.
  • Go to Format > Conditional formatting in the menu.
  • Under “Format cells if,” choose “Custom formula is.”
  • Enter the following formula: =COUNTIF($A$1:$A$100, A1)>1
  • Select the formatting style you want to apply to the duplicate cells, then click “Done”.

Method 3: Using the ‘Remove Duplicates’ Feature

If you not only want to identify but also remove duplicates, Google Sheets has a built-in feature that makes this process quick and easy. Here’s how to use it:

  • Select the range of cells where you want to remove duplicates.
  • Click on Data > Remove duplicates in the menu.
  • Select the columns you want to check for duplicates, then click “Remove Duplicates”.


And there you have it – three simple and effective ways to identify duplicates in Google Sheets. Whether you’re preparing data for analysis, cleaning up a mailing list, or just trying to keep your spreadsheets tidy and accurate, these techniques should help you eliminate any unwanted duplicates with ease.