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How to Remove Duplicates in Excel for Business

June 13, 2024
2.4K Views

Whether you work in the finance, marketing, or IT department of your company, chances are you frequently deal with large datasets. Managing this data can be challenging, especially when you encounter duplicates. The best way to handle duplicate data is to remove it right away. In this guide, I will show you how to remove duplicates in Excel for business, streamlining your workflow and enhancing data accuracy.

How to Remove Duplicates in Excel for Business

How to Remove Duplicates in Excel for Business

When would a Business Person Delete Duplicates in Excel?

Businesses can greatly benefit from such data cleansing to improve data handling and store more accurate information. Here are reasons why it's important for a business person to delete duplicates in Excel:

  • Customer data cleaning:

Businesses often collect data from various channels such as online, retail, and others, and often end up with duplicate records of customer information from purchases made through these different channels. By deleting duplicate records, businesses can maintain much more accurate customer records for future use, avoid confusion, and gain better results from this data.

Remove Duplicates for more accurate records

Remove Duplicates for more accurate records

  • Sales order processing:

While processing orders, there are chances that a single order is placed multiple times due to system glitches, data entry errors, multiple channels feeding the same data, or the customer placing several orders. These multiple orders can cause confusion among staff, leading to inefficiencies and mistakes in order processing. If duplicates are not removed, it might result in the same order being fulfilled and shipped more than once, leading to incorrect shipments, increased shipping costs, and potential customer dissatisfaction.

  • Employee list management:

Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date employee list is crucial for any organization. However, duplicate entries can easily arise due to multiple data imports or manual data entry. These duplicates can have significant consequences for payroll and HR processes.

How to Remove Duplicates in Excel

Since data entry errors are common and can lead to potential losses for any business, I decided to address the issue of "how to remove duplicates in Excel" by providing a comprehensive guide that is not only easy to follow but also explores different options available in Excel for handling duplicate entries.

Given that the question of how to delete duplicates in Excel is common for businesses of all sizes, I chose to perform this tutorial using WPS Spreadsheet, a free alternative that offers all the spreadsheet features of Excel.

Highlight Duplicates

The first tool provided by WPS Spreadsheet to work with duplicate entries is the Highlight feature. This feature allows you to quickly identify any duplicate entries before proceeding with the data.

So, we have customer transaction data that we have entered into an Excel spreadsheet. However, there might be a few duplicate entries that could easily be overlooked. Let's highlight these duplicate entries in a few simple steps using WPS Spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open your WPS Spreadsheet and load the data you want to check for duplicates.

Step 2: Use your mouse to select the cells containing unique identifiers for each entry.

Unique identifiers could be an ID number, customer code, or any other field that should only appear once in your data set.
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Step 3: Head over to the "Data" tab and choose "Highlight Duplicates" to find any double entries in your data.

Data tab in WPS Spreadsheet

Data tab in WPS Spreadsheet

Step 4: From the Highlight Duplicates drop-down menu, choose the "Set" option.

Highlight Duplicates in WPS Spreadsheet

Highlight Duplicates in WPS Spreadsheet

Step 5:  A Highlight Duplicates box will pop up showing the cells you selected earlier. Double-check this range and make any adjustments if needed. Then simply click on "OK" to proceed.

Set Duplicates Range in WPS Spreadsheet

Set Duplicates Range in WPS Spreadsheet

Step 6: Now, duplicate entries in your data will be highlighted in orange, making them stand out for easy identification.

Duplicated cells in WPS Spreadsheet

Duplicated cells in WPS Spreadsheet

Using the Highlight Duplicate feature in WPS Spreadsheet, businesses can easily identify any duplicate entries in their data. With just a few clicks, you can ensure your data is accurate and up-to-date, saving you time and improving your decision-making.

Remove Duplicates

After identifying duplicate entries in the data, business professionals can simply filter out the duplicate entries using the Remove Duplicates feature in WPS Spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open the previous customer sales data spreadsheet where we highlighted duplicate entries.

Step 2: Select the cells from which you want to remove duplicates.

Step 3: To remove duplicates, go to the "Data" tab in the toolbar and click on the "Highlight Duplicates" button to expand the options.

WPS Spreadsheet Data tab

WPS Spreadsheet Data tab

Step 4: Click on the "Remove Duplicates" option from the drop-down menu.

Remove Duplicates option in WPS Spreadsheet

Remove Duplicates option in WPS Spreadsheet

Step 5: In the Remove Duplicates window, you can select or deselect columns as needed. You can also view the count of duplicates in the selected columns.

Step 6: After reviewing the settings, simply click on "Remove Duplicates".

Remove Duplicates from data

Remove Duplicates from data

Step 7: WPS Spreadsheet will inform you of the number of duplicate entries removed and the number of unique entries remaining. Click "OK" to confirm.

Notification from WPS Spreadsheet

Notification from WPS Spreadsheet

Following these steps will successfully help you remove all duplicate rows from the selected data, which can then be used for further data handling, such as forecasting and data analysis, to achieve more accurate results.

Use formula

Professionals can also depend on the UNIQUE function in WPS Spreadsheet to eliminate duplicates in Excel spreadsheets, thereby enhancing workflow efficiency and guaranteeing data accuracy across diverse business contexts. Here's how you can utilize the UNIQUE function:

Step 1: Let's switch tabs to WPS Spreadsheet to view our data.

Step 2: Click on any empty cell where you will be using the UNIQUE function.

Step 3: Begin the function by entering an equal sign, followed by typing UNIQUE.

Step 4: You will see the UNIQUE function appear in the suggestion; click on it and press Tab key to select the function.

Enter UNIQUE Function in an empty cell

Enter UNIQUE Function in an empty cell

Step 5: The UNIQUE function only has one argument, which is the Array argument; simply select the entire table and press Enter.

Select range of data to remove duplicates

Select range of data to remove duplicates

Step 6: As a result, a new table will be created, deleting all the duplicates from the data, which can now be used for further data manipulation.

Remove Duplicates from data using UNIQUE Formula

Remove Duplicates from data using UNIQUE Formula

WPS Spreadsheet makes data handling convenient for business professionals, and with more spreadsheet tools available, professionals can seamlessly move along with the data for further analysis. I prefer using WPS Spreadsheet the most because it provides all the office tools under one umbrella, and that too in the most cost-effective manner.

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FAQs about How to Remove Duplicates in Excel for Business

1. Why can't I use the Remove Duplicate feature in Excel?

Here are the reasons why you might encounter difficulties using the "Remove Duplicates" function in Excel:

  • Merged Cells: If your data contains merged cells, the "Remove Duplicates" function won't work.

  • Formatted as a Table: If your data range is formatted as a table, the "Remove Duplicates" option might be unavailable.

  • Protected Worksheet or Locked Cells: If your worksheet is protected or if certain cells are locked, you won't be able to remove duplicates until you unprotect the sheet or unlock the cells.

2. How do I extract duplicates in Excel without deleting?

You can create a helper column to find duplicates in Excel without removing them. If you're using Excel 365, apply the formula =COUNTIFS(range, range); if not, use =COUNTIFS(range, cell) and drag it down using Ctrl+D. Values greater than 1 in this column indicate duplicates. Then, apply a filter to display all duplicates except one.

The Ultimate Solution for Businesses

Redundant data is a major hindrance in business workflows, causing inefficiencies and confusion. A well-organized spreadsheet and proficiency in knowing how to remove duplicates in Excel for business can dramatically improve productivity, which is why WPS Office is an essential tool for businesses. WPS Office ensures efficient data management and analysis. Its powerful AI capabilities further enhance productivity by automating routine tasks, providing smart data analysis, and facilitating real-time collaboration. Reliable and cost-effective, WPS Office delivers consistent performance without the risk of last-minute crashes or data loss. Download WPS Office today and discover how its comprehensive suite of tools can streamline your business operations and eliminate redundant data.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.