Filter your data

The filter feature in Google Sheets makes it easier to analyze and view your data by hiding the data that you temporarily want to take out of view. When you want all of your data to be visible again, all you have to do is disable the filter.

Note: When you enable the filter feature, it will filter the data for all of your spreadsheet’s viewers and collaborators, meaning any editor has the ability to change the filter. However, if you want collaborators to be able to create and use their own filters at the same time in a spreadsheet, consider switching to the new Google Sheets and trying out filter views in the new version.

Enabling and disabling a filter

To enable autofilter, follow these steps:

filter labels

filter enabled

  1. Select the range of cells you’d like to apply the filter to.
  2. From the Data menu, select Filter. Alternatively, you can select the Filter toolbar icon toolbar icon in the toolbar.
  3. The filter will be applied to your selected range of cells.
  4. To help you see what cell ranges have a filter applied, the column and row labels are colored green. Additionally, the filter toolbar icon will also change to green toolbar icon enabledif a filter has been applied to any column in your spreadsheet.
  5. Clicking the drop down icon dropdown buttonin the header row will give you a set of filtering options.
  6. From the drop-down menu, you can uncheck the data points that you want to hide from view and check data points that you want to keep in view. Once you’ve done so and clicked OK, the icon in the header row will change to a filter.

Note: Only one filter is allowed per spreadsheet in order to prevent collaborators from overwriting each other’s data. The filter will show for all editors and viewers, and it can be added or removed by any person with editing rights.

To disable autofilter, follow these steps:

  1. From the Data menu, select Filter. Alternatively, you can deselect the filter icon toolbar icon enabledin the toolbar.
  2. The filter will be removed from your selected range of cells. Drop-down menus dropdown button will disappear from the first row of the selected range of cells.
  3. All filtered rows will be visible again, but data you’ve sorted will remain sorted.

Filtering your data

Filtering will temporarily hide some of the rows in your spreadsheet, allowing you to view only the data you’d like to see. Once you’ve enabled the filter, click the drop down icon dropdown buttonin the header row to view a set of filtering options. Then, you’ll be able to check and uncheck individual data points that you want to view or filter out.

filter dropdown menu

If you want to complete a bulk action, you can click Select all or Clear to either check or uncheck all of your data points in a given column.

You also have the ability to search for particular data points within a column that has a filter applied. Typing "P," for example, will shorten the list to just the names that start with P. You can click on Select all or Clear to perform bulk actions on the visible items. For example, clicking Clear would deselect Peter and Phil.

Sorting data with a filter enabled

When you have a filter applied to a range of cells, you can also sort the data. When you sort your data using the drop-down menu, only the data contained in the filter range will be sorted. You can sort a particular column by selecting the drop-down menu and clicking either Sort A → Z or Sort Z → A.

filter sort