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How to highlight duplicate rows across multiple columns in Excel?

For instance, if there is a range of values, how can you quickly highlight the duplicate rows across these multiple columns as below screenshot shown? In this article, I introduce some tricks on solving this job in Excel.
doc highlight duplicate across columns 1

Highlight duplicate rows across columns by Conditional Formatting

Highlight duplicate rows across columns by Kutools for Excelgood idea3


You can highlight duplicate rows across columns by applying a formula in Conditional Formatting function.

1. Select the data range, click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule. And in the popping New Formatting Rule dialog, select Use a formula to determine which cells to format, and paste this formula =COUNTIFS($A$2:$A$10,$A2,$B$2:$B$10,$B2,$C$2:$C$10,$C2)>1 into the Format values where this formula is true box. See screenshot:
doc highlight duplicate across columns 2

2. Click Format in the New Formatting Rule dialog to open the Format Cells dialog. In the dialog, click Fill tab, and select one background color that you want to highlight the duplicate rows with. See screenshot:
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3. Click OK > OK to close dialogs, and now the duplicate rows across multiple columns have been highlighted with the specified filled color. See screenshot:
doc highlight duplicate across columns 4

Note: in the formula, A2:A10, B2:B10 and C2:C10 are the column ranges you work, you can change them as you need.


If there are dozens of columns you want to work with, the Conditional Formatting would not be a good choice to solve this job. However, you can apply Kutools for Excel’s Select Duplicate & Unique Cells utility to quickly highlight the rows across dozens of columns.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 300 handy functions, makes your jobs more easier. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:(Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Select the data range, click Kutools > Select > Select Duplicate & Unique Cells. See screenshot:
doc highlight duplicate across columns 5

2. In the Select Duplicate & Unique Cells dialog, check Duplicates (Except 1st one) or All duplicates (Including 1st one) options as you need, and go to Processing of results section to specify the highlighting color and font color. Click Ok, and a dialog pops out to remind you the number of selected duplicate rows. See screenshot:
doc highlight duplicate across columns 6

3. Click OK, now the duplicate rows have been highlighted. See screenshot:
doc highlight duplicate across columns 78


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Comments (9)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Sir, if you change the date of kate from 1/1/2016 to 1/2/2016 cell will be highlighted or not.... what i want is if date,name, and score are.same then highlight. If date is same name is same but score is different then should not be highlight. Please help.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Both the above methods can work for your problem.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks so much for this! When there is a duplicate, how can i have the 2nd occurrence highlighted instead of the 1st one? (when using regular excel). Thanks so much
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello Shosh, you can use this formula =COUNTIF($A$2:$A2, A2)>1 in the Conditional formatting rule, it will highlighted all duplicates except the first one. Hope it can help you.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I think she meant she still needs both columns as part of the equation but have it highlight the lower duplicate instead of the higher duplicate.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is PERFECT! THANK YOU!!!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
how do I highlight the 1st row also using the formula in conditional formatting?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks! Any way to do this and make Ben and Kate different colors?
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