How to Highlight Duplicates in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis, but it can be challenging to identify duplicate entries in a large dataset. Highlighting duplicates in Excel can help you to identify and remove redundant data, ensuring that your analysis is accurate and comprehensive. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to highlight duplicates in Excel.

Step 1: Select the Data Range

Select The Data RangeSource:

The first step in identifying duplicates in Excel is to select the data range that you want to analyze. This could be a single column, a row, or an entire spreadsheet. Once you have selected the data range, click on the ‘Conditional Formatting’ option in the ‘Home’ tab of the Excel ribbon.

Step 2: Choose the ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ Option

Choose The ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ OptionSource:

Under the ‘Conditional Formatting’ menu, select the ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ option. This will open up a drop-down menu with different options for highlighting cells based on their content.

Step 3: Select ‘Duplicate Values’

Select ‘Duplicate Values’Source:

From the ‘Highlight Cell Rules’ drop-down menu, select the ‘Duplicate Values’ option. This will open up a new window where you can customize the formatting options for duplicate values.

Step 4: Choose Formatting Options

Choose Formatting OptionsSource:

In the ‘Duplicate Values’ window, you can choose the formatting options for duplicate values. You can choose to highlight duplicate values with a specific color, or use other formatting options such as bold or italic text. Once you have selected your formatting options, click ‘OK’ to apply them to your data range.

Step 5: Review the Duplicates

Review The DuplicatesSource:

Once you have applied the formatting options, Excel will highlight all of the duplicate values in your data range. You can now review the duplicates to determine if they need to be removed or if they represent valid data entries.

Additional Tips for Highlighting Duplicates in Excel

Tip 1: Use Conditional Formatting for Multiple Data Ranges

Use Conditional Formatting For Multiple Data RangesSource:

If you need to analyze multiple data ranges for duplicates, you can use conditional formatting to highlight duplicates in each range. Simply repeat the steps outlined above for each data range, and Excel will highlight the duplicates in each range separately.

Tip 2: Use Built-In Excel Functions

Use Built-In Excel FunctionsSource:

Excel has built-in functions for identifying duplicates, such as ‘COUNTIF’ and ‘COUNTIFS’. These functions can be used to count the number of duplicate entries in a data range, or to identify specific duplicates based on certain criteria.

Tip 3: Remove Duplicates

Remove DuplicatesSource:

If you have identified duplicates in your data range, you can remove them using the ‘Remove Duplicates’ option in Excel. This option can be found under the ‘Data’ tab in the Excel ribbon. Simply select the data range that contains duplicates, and Excel will remove all but the first instance of each duplicate.


Highlighting duplicates in Excel is an essential skill for anyone working with data. By using conditional formatting and built-in Excel functions, you can quickly and easily identify duplicate entries in a dataset. Removing duplicates ensures that your analysis is accurate and reliable, helping you to make informed decisions based on your data.

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