How To Remove Duplicates In Google Sheets



Google Sheets is a powerful tool used by many individuals and businesses for data management and analysis. It allows you to organize, sort, and manipulate data easily. However, as you work with large datasets, you may find that there are duplicate entries within your Google Sheets. These duplicates can clutter your spreadsheet and potentially lead to inaccuracies in analysis or reporting.

Removing duplicates in Google Sheets is essential to ensure data integrity and maintain a clean and efficient spreadsheet. By eliminating duplicate entries, you can streamline your data and prevent any inconsistencies that may arise from repeated values.

In this article, we will explore various methods to remove duplicates in Google Sheets. These methods are easy to follow and will help you efficiently clean up your data. Whether you are working with a small dataset or a large-scale project, these techniques will save you time and improve the accuracy of your data analysis.

We will discuss three different methods for removing duplicates in Google Sheets. The first method involves using the “Remove Duplicates” tool provided by Google Sheets. The second method utilizes formulas to identify and remove duplicate entries. Lastly, we will cover a more advanced approach using Apps Script to automate the process of removing duplicates.

By the end of this article, you will have a thorough understanding of how to remove duplicates in Google Sheets and can apply these techniques to your own projects. Let’s get started!


Why Remove Duplicates?

Removing duplicates in Google Sheets is crucial for maintaining data accuracy and avoiding potential errors in your analysis or reporting. Here are several reasons why it is important to remove duplicates from your spreadsheet:

1. Data Accuracy: Duplicate entries can distort your data analysis and lead to incorrect insights. By removing duplicates, you ensure that each record is unique, providing accurate and reliable information for your analysis.

2. Data Integrity: Duplicates can compromise the integrity of your data by inflating the frequency of certain values or skewing statistical calculations. Removing duplicates helps to maintain the integrity of your dataset and ensures that the results of your analysis are trustworthy.

3. Data Organization: Duplicate entries clutter your spreadsheet and make it harder to analyze and interpret your data. By removing duplicates, you can organize your data more effectively and enhance readability, allowing for easier identification of patterns and trends.

4. Resource Efficiency: If you are working with a large dataset, removing duplicates can help optimize the performance of your spreadsheet. By reducing the number of duplicate entries, you can decrease the file size and improve the processing speed, making it easier to work with your data.

5. Data Consistency: Duplicate entries can disrupt the consistency of your data, especially when updates or changes are made. By removing duplicates, you ensure that there is only one correct version of each record, reducing the risk of conflicting or contradictory information.

6. Error Prevention: Duplicate entries can lead to inadvertent errors, such as double-counting or overestimating values. By removing duplicates, you mitigate the risk of these errors and maintain the accuracy of your calculations and analysis.

7. Enhanced Decision Making: By eliminating duplicates, you can make informed decisions based on clean and accurate data. Removing duplicates allows you to focus on unique information, enabling you to draw more meaningful insights and make better-informed decisions.

8. Data Sharing and Collaboration: When sharing your spreadsheet with others, removing duplicates ensures that everyone is working with consistent and accurate data. This promotes effective collaboration and eliminates confusion or discrepancies that may arise from duplicate entries.

Now that you understand the importance of removing duplicates in Google Sheets, let’s explore the different methods you can use to remove duplicates effectively.


Method 1: Using the Remove Duplicates Tool

Google Sheets provides a built-in feature called “Remove Duplicates” that allows you to quickly and easily eliminate duplicate entries from your spreadsheet. Here’s how you can use this tool:

Step 1: Select the range of data from which you want to remove duplicates. This can be a single column or multiple columns that contain the data you want to clean up.

Step 2: Go to the “Data” menu at the top of your Google Sheets window and select the “Remove Duplicates” option. This will open the Remove Duplicates dialog box.

Step 3: In the Remove Duplicates dialog box, you will see a preview of your selected range. You can choose whether to remove duplicates from the entire range or just specific columns. Check the box next to “Data has header row” if your selected range includes a header row that you want to preserve.

Step 4: Once you have made your selections, click on the “Remove” button. Google Sheets will then remove the duplicate entries from your selected range, leaving behind only unique values.

It’s important to note that the Remove Duplicates tool considers all columns in your selected range when determining duplicates. This means that if you have multiple columns, the entire row must match for it to be considered a duplicate entry.

This method is effective for quickly removing duplicates from small to medium-sized datasets. However, for larger datasets, using formulas or Apps Script (which we will cover in the following sections) may be more efficient.

Now that you know how to use the Remove Duplicates tool, let’s move on to the next method: using formulas to remove duplicates in Google Sheets.


Method 2: Using Formulas

If you prefer a more flexible approach or need to remove duplicates based on specific criteria, using formulas in Google Sheets can be an effective method. Here’s how you can use formulas to remove duplicates:

Step 1: Identify the column or columns that contain the data you want to check for duplicates. Let’s say you have your data in column A, starting from cell A2.

Step 2: In an adjacent column, such as column B, enter the following formula in the first cell (B2):


This formula uses the UNIQUE function in Google Sheets to extract the unique values from column A. It will generate a list of unique values in column B, starting from cell B2.

Step 3: Copy the formula down the column to generate the list of unique values. The range in the formula (A2:A) should adjust automatically depending on the number of rows in your dataset.

Step 4: Now, you can use the unique values in column B as your cleaned-up data. You can either replace the duplicate values in column A with the unique values in column B or copy the unique values to a new location in your spreadsheet.

Using formulas allows you to customize the criteria for removing duplicates. For example, you can use additional functions like COUNTIF, MATCH, or VLOOKUP to filter duplicates based on specific conditions. This method gives you more control over the removal process.

However, it’s important to note that using formulas may require more manual effort, especially if you have a large dataset or complex criteria. In such cases, the next method using Apps Script may be more efficient.

Now that you understand how to remove duplicates using formulas in Google Sheets, let’s move on to the final method: using Apps Script.


Method 3: Using Apps Script

If you have a large dataset or need to automate the process of removing duplicates in Google Sheets, using Apps Script is a powerful option. Apps Script allows you to write custom scripts to extend the functionality of Google Sheets. Here’s how you can use Apps Script to remove duplicates:

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet and go to the “Extensions” menu. Select “Apps Script” to open the Apps Script editor.

Step 2: In the Apps Script editor, delete the default function (myFunction) and replace it with the following code:

function removeDuplicates() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var data = sheet.getDataRange().getValues();

var uniqueData = [];
var seenValues = {};

for (var i = 0; i < data.length; i++) { var row = data[i]; var rowString = row.join(); if (!seenValues[rowString]) { uniqueData.push(row); seenValues[rowString] = true; } } sheet.clearContents(); sheet.getRange(1, 1, uniqueData.length, uniqueData[0].length).setValues(uniqueData); }

This code creates a custom function called “removeDuplicates”. It retrieves the active sheet and the data range, then iterates over each row to identify unique values. The unique data is stored in the “uniqueData” array.

Step 3: Save your script and close the Apps Script editor.

Step 4: Return to your Google Sheets spreadsheet and go to the “Extensions” menu. Select “Apps Script” again, and this time, choose “removeDuplicates” from the list of functions.

The script will run and remove duplicates from your dataset. It replaces the original data with the cleaned-up data, leaving only the unique values.

Using Apps Script provides the flexibility to perform more complex operations and automate the process of removing duplicates. You can schedule the script to run at specific intervals or trigger it when certain conditions are met.

However, it’s important to note that using Apps Script may require some knowledge of JavaScript and programming concepts. If you’re not familiar with programming, it’s recommended to seek assistance or refer to the Google Apps Script documentation.

Now that you know how to use Apps Script to remove duplicates in Google Sheets, you can customize and automate the process according to your specific needs.



Removing duplicates in Google Sheets is a fundamental step in maintaining the accuracy, integrity, and organization of your data. Whether you’re working with small or large datasets, the methods outlined in this article provide effective ways to eliminate duplicate entries from your spreadsheet.

The first method, using the built-in “Remove Duplicates” tool, offers a quick and straightforward approach for small to medium-sized datasets. It allows you to remove duplicates in just a few clicks, making it a great option for simple cleaning tasks.

If you need more flexibility or want to remove duplicates based on specific criteria, the second method using formulas in Google Sheets is a versatile solution. With formulas like UNIQUE, you can extract unique values and create cleaner datasets.

For larger datasets or for those who want to automate the process, the third method using Apps Script provides a powerful and customizable solution. By writing custom scripts, you can automate the removal of duplicates and create more complex operations to fit your specific requirements.

By applying these methods, you can ensure that your Google Sheets are free from duplicate entries, enabling you to work with accurate data and make informed decisions. Additionally, removing duplicates improves data organization, enhances resource efficiency, and prevents errors in your analysis.

Remember, the choice of method depends on the size of your dataset, the complexity of your criteria, and your familiarity with programming concepts. Analyze your specific needs and choose the approach that suits you best.

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of how to remove duplicates in Google Sheets, you can confidently clean up your data and optimize your spreadsheet for better data management and analysis.

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