Google Sheets logo

When you have a spreadsheet full of data and need to find something specific, filters in Google Sheets can help. Just enter some criteria for the data you need and see your results in a few clicks.

While filters are robust, they don’t have to be intimidating, so we’re going to go through the basics of applying a few simple filters in Google Sheets.

Enable the Filter in Google Sheets

Once you enable the filter feature in Google Sheets, it’s on and ready to use. This applies a filter icon to the top of columns with data. You can then filter whichever column you need.

You might need to select a cell in the data area of your sheet depending on how you set it up. For instance, if you have blocks of data separated by blank columns, choose a cell in the block where you want the filter.

Select a cell for the filter area

Or, if you want to be able to filter any column in the sheet, select the entire sheet by clicking the rectangle on the top left where the A and 1 meet.

Select the entire sheet

Advertisement

Go to the right side of the toolbar and click “Create a Filter.”

Click Create a Filter

Now, you’re ready to apply a filter. You can filter by color, condition, or values.

Filter by Color

If you use color in your spreadsheet to highlight text or cells, you can filter by the colors that you use.

Click the filter icon in the header for the column that you want to filter. Move your cursor to “Filter by Color,” pick “Fill Color” or “Text Color,” and then choose the color in the pop-out list.

Choose Filter by Color and pick a color

Your sheet will update with the filtered data, hiding the remaining data in the column.

Filtered by Color in Google Sheets

Filter by Condition

Maybe you want to filter out blank cells or those with certain text, dates, numbers, or formulas. Filtering by condition gives you all of these options with specifics in each one.

Advertisement

For example, you can filter text that starts or ends with something in particular, dates that are before or after another date, or numbers that are greater than or less than a certain value.

Click the filter icon in the column header and expand “Filter by Condition.”

Expand Filter by Condition

In the drop-down box, choose the condition.

Conditions for the filter

For our example, we’ll filter numbers that are “Greater Than” or “Equal To” 250.

So, after you pick the condition, enter the value (or formula) in the box directly below it. Click “OK” to apply the filter.

Pick a condition, enter a value, and click OK

And there we have it. Only values in our column that are greater than or equal to 250 will display.

Filtered By Condition in Google Sheets

Filter by Values

One final way to filter data in Google Sheets is by specific value. When you use this filter, Sheets will display only the values in that column for you, so you can choose those in the list that you want to see or use the Search box to find one quickly.

Advertisement

Click the filter icon in the column header and expand “Filter by Values.” Depending on how much data you have in the column, you might want to use the “Select All” or “Clear” options. Then select or deselect only those that you want.

Optionally click Select All or Clear

Alternatively, you can go down to the data list and check or uncheck the values there or find one with the search box. Click “OK” to apply the filter.

Search for a filter value and click OK

And like the other filter types, your sheet will update to display only the data in your filter while hiding the rest.

Filtered By Values in Google Sheets

Disable the Filter in Google Sheets

Unlike the filters in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets doesn’t currently provide a way to clear a filter with a click. So, when you finish using a filter, you can simply turn it off the same way you turned it on.

Go to the right side of the toolbar and click “Turn Off Filter.”

Click Turn Off Filter

If using the filters in Google Sheets works well for you, you can also save filter views. Check out our tutorial for how to filter when collaborating in Google Sheets, which walks you through it.

Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
Read Full Bio »

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.