Software & Apps Google Drive How to Highlight Duplicates in Google Sheets An easy way to find duplicates in Google Sheets by Julia Borgini Writer Julia Borgini is a former Lifewire writer and a technical copywriter. She's written for B2B News Network, Kissmetrics, Social Media Examiner, and more. our editorial process Twitter LinkedIn Julia Borgini Updated on July 14, 2020 reviewed by Jessica Kormos Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jessica Kormos is a writer and editor with 15 years' experience writing articles, copy, and UX content for Tecca.com, Rosenfeld Media, and many others. our review board Article reviewed on Aug 15, 2020 Jessica Kormos Google Drive Sheets Docs Slides Tweet Share Email What to Know Set a conditional formatting custom formula to =COUNTIF(A:A,A1)>1 assuming you're working in column A.Use UNIQUE to find duplicates vs highlighting them. Google Sheets also has a built-in feature that will remove duplicates completely.Third-party add-ons are also available, making finding and highlighting duplicates really easy. This article shows you how to highlight duplicates in Google Sheets using three different methods. How to Find Duplicates in Google Sheets The first way to do this is to highlight duplicates with color. You can search by column for duplicates and automatically highlight them, either by filling the cells or changing the text color. Before starting, make sure your spreadsheet has data organized by columns and each column has a heading. Open the spreadsheet you want to analyze in Google Sheets. Highlight the column you want to search through. Click Format > Conditional Formatting. The Conditional Formatting menu opens on the right. Confirm the cell range is what you selected in Step 2. In the Format cells if… drop-down, select Custom formula is. A new field appears below it. Enter the following formula in the new field, adjusting the letters for the column range you selected: =countif(A:A,A1)>1 In the Formatting style section, choose a fill color for the duplicate cells. In this example, we've chosen red. You could also change the text color in the duplicate cells instead of filling it with a color. To do this, click the text color icon (the A in the menu bar) and choose your color. Click Done to apply the conditional formatting. All duplicates should now have a red-filled cell. Find Duplicates in Google Sheets with Formulas You can also use a formula to find the duplicate data in your spreadsheets. This method can work by column or by row, and will display the duplicate data in a new column or sheet within your file. Find Duplicates in Columns with a Formula Finding duplicates in columns let you examine a single column of data to see if there is anything int hat column that has been duplicated. Open the spreadsheet you wish to analyze. Click into an open cell in the same sheet (for example, the next empty column in the sheet). In that empty cell, enter the following and then press Enter. =UNIQUE The formula feature is activated. Select the column you want to find duplicates in by clicking the letter at the top of the column. The formula will automatically add the column range for you. Your formula will look something like this: =UNIQUE(C2:C25) Type the closing parenthesis in the formula cell (or press Enter) to complete the formula. The unique data is displayed in that column for you, starting in the cell where you entered the formula. Find Duplicate Rows Using a Formula The method to find duplicate rows in your spreadsheet is similar, except the range of cells you select to analyze by the formula is different. Open the spreadsheet you wish to analyze. Click into an open cell in the same sheet (for example, the next empty column in the sheet). In that empty cell, enter the following and then press Enter. =UNIQUE The formula feature is activated. Select the rows you wish to analyze for duplicates. Press Enter to complete the formula. The duplicate rows are displayed. Find Duplicates in Google Sheets With an Add-on You can also use a Google add-on to find and highlight duplicates in Google Sheets. These add-ons will let you do more with your duplicates, such as identify and delete them; compare data across sheets; ignore header rows; automatically copying or moving unique data to another location; and more. If you need to address any of these situations or if your data set is more robust than three columns, consider using one of the following add-ons. Remove Duplicates by AblebitsPower Tools by AblebitsRemove Duplicates by Expand9 Each of these add-ons behaves slightly differently, but they all allow you to find and highlight your duplicate data, copy the duplicate data to another location, and clear duplicate values or delete duplicate rows.