Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using AutoFiltering.

Using AutoFiltering

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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Filtering a list means displaying only a part of it. You provide the criteria you want used and then Excel displays only those list records that match the criteria. Filtering is especially useful if you have a large list and you want to work with only a subset of the records in the list.

The easiest way to filter your list is to use the AutoFilter feature. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Select any cell in your list.
  2. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Sort & Filter group, click the Filter tool. Excel determines where your column (field) labels are located and adds pull-down arrows to the right side of each label's cell.

AutoFilter is now alive and well in your workbook. If you click on one of these pull-down arrows, Excel displays the unique values in that column (field). You can then select one of the values and Excel displays only those records that match that value for that field. (The pull-down arrow then turns blue.) All the rest of the records in the list will be hidden.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6612) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using AutoFiltering.

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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What is 3 + 7?

2023-07-17 10:13:08

J. Woolley

@Alex
That shortcut works best if you click within one of the columns you want to AutoFilter, not anywhere in the worksheet.


2023-07-17 06:13:17

Alex

The AutoFilter toggle on/off is a very useful Excel shortcut:

Click anywhere in the worksheet; Hold down Ctrl and Shift; Press 'L'.


2023-07-16 10:00:28

J. Woolley

The Tip says, "(The pull-down arrow then turns blue.)" In my Excel 365 it does not turn blue; it changes to a filter funnel graphic instead (like Y).


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