Find duplicate or unique cells in a spreadsheet

This additional tool to the Remove Duplicates will help you track down all duplicate or unique cells in your Google Sheets.
Find duplicate cells.

Before you start

We care about your data and suggest you always create backup copies of your spreadsheets. A special option of the add-on will do that for you if you select it.

Please bear in mind that Google Sheets limits the total number of possible cells in your file up to 5 million cells.

Tip. Use this add-on to find duplicate or unique cells in one spreadsheet.

In case you need to look for identical rows rather than single cells, we have other tools for that: Find duplicate or unique rows and it's one-step version Quick Dedupe.

To compare two sheets or tables for duplicates or uniques, take advantage of the Compare columns or sheets tool instead.

To merge or consolidate unique records that refer to multiple duplicate values on different rows, turn to Combine Duplicate Rows.

How to use Remove Duplicate Cells

Start the add-on

Use the Google Sheets menu and go to Add-ons > Remove Duplicates > Find duplicate or unique cells:
Start Find duplicate cells in Google Sheets.

Tip. Or access the utility from the Dedupe & Compare group of the Power Tools collection:
Remove Duplicate Cells in Power Tools.

Step 1: Select the range

Choose the range of cells you want to check for duplicates or uniques:
Pick the range to look for duplicate cells in.
You'll see the entire used range highlighted by default.

Adjust it to your needs by clicking the Select range icon and entering other range manually or selecting it the spreadsheet of interest:
Pick the necessary range of cells in the pop-up window.

Tip. Use the Auto select button to pick the entire used range (before the first blank column and row) automatically.

To preserve a copy of your spreadsheet intact just in case, decide in favor of the Create a backup copy of the sheet option.

Click Next to go on to the second step.

Step 2: Decide what to find

Choose the type of data you want to find in your spreadsheet:
Find Duplicates and their 1<sup>st</sup> occurrences.

  • Pick Duplicates from the drop-down list in order to look for dupes only, without their first instances:
    Find duplicate cells.
  • Select Duplicates + 1st occurrences if you want to see all dupes including their first instances in the result:
    Find duplicates and their 1st occurrences.
  • Go with Uniques to find only the values that doesn't have replicates in the selected range:
    Find unique cells.
  • Switch to Uniques + 1st occurrences to search for both uniques and the first appearances of duplicates:
    Find uniques and the 1st occurrences of dupes.

Tick off the option to Skip empty cells and the add-on will exclude all empty cells from the search. Otherwise, they will be treated as uniques or duplicates, depending on their frequency within your data.

If you have the same records written in different cases, and you want to have them as different values, check the option to Match case as well.

You can return to step 1 by clicking Back.

Press Next to proceed to the final step.

Step 3: Tweak additional options

The add-on offers 4 ways to process the found duplicate or unique cells:
Color, copy, or remove duplicates from your sheet.
Pick the radio button next to the action you'd like to apply:

  • Decide to Fill with color to paint the cells with found values. The arrow next to the option will show the hues to choose from.
  • To work with the found cells in a new sheet, spreadsheet, or a place of your choice without losing the values from the original sheets, select the option Copy to another location.
  • Alternatively, the records can be cut from the original sheet and pasted where you indicate if you choose to Move to another location.
  • The Clear values option will eliminate the dupes or uniques from the spreadsheet completely while keeping other data as is.

Click Finish to find duplicate or unique values.

See the result

Once the add-on completes the search, you will see the summary of the result with the number of found values and the action that was applied:
The values have been found and colored.

Tip. Press the Start over button to use the add-on again.