Not All Rows are Filtered

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 14, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Danita has a worksheet that contains 1,327 rows. She would like to be able to filter this data. When she clicks on the Filter tool (on the Data tab of the ribbon), filtering is applied, but it doesn't include all the rows. It stops at row 1,286, and the rows below that are not filtered and keep showing all information. Danita wonders why this happens and if there is a limit on how many rows can be filtered.

First, let's answer the simple question: There is no real practical limit on how many rows can be filtered. Microsoft states that any theoretical limit is based on the number of unique values in a column. That limit is around 10,000 unique values, which in most instances means there is no real limit on the number of rows.

Now, to the problem that Danita is experiencing. This typically occurs if there is a blank row in your data. The solution is to remove the filter, and then take a look at row 1,286-1,287. If you see a blank row there, just delete the row and reapply the filter.

This behavior (of stopping at blank rows) happens when you select a cell in the data and then apply the filter. It will not occur if, before applying the filter, you select all of the cells you want included in the filter. If you want to see which cells Excel thinks should be included in filtering, select a cell in your data and then press Ctrl+Shift+* (that's an asterisk). Do this before you apply the filter, and you can easily see if there are any problem areas with your data.

There is another scenario where you might see this type of behavior. If you apply a filter to your data and then start adding more data past the original rows, those won't be included in the filtered data. If you suspect this is the case, simply remove the filter and reapply it to have all of the data included.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (949) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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