How to filter columns in Google Sheets

Working with large data sets in Google Sheets can be overwhelming. You may need to find specific information or summarize data in a particular way to make more informed decisions. One way to simplify this task is by using the filter function.

If you're not familiar with how to filter columns in Google Sheets, don't worry. In this article, we'll walk you through the process step-by-step.

Step 1: Open your spreadsheet

To get started, you'll need to open the Google Sheets file you want to work with. If you don't have a file yet, create a new spreadsheet, and add your data. Once you have the file opened, navigate to the sheet you'd like to filter.

Step 2: Select the data you want to filter

Now that you're in the sheet you want to filter, select the range of cells that you want to work with. For example, let's say you want to filter a list of sales data by region. Select the columns that contain the sales data and the column that contains the region name. Make sure you select the entire column by clicking on the column letter at the top of your screen.

Step 3: Click on the filter icon

With your data selected, click on the filter icon. It looks like a funnel and can be found in the toolbar or by going to Data > Create a filter. This will add a filter to each column you selected, allowing you to sort and filter data.

Step 4: Filter your data

Once you have added the filter, you can start filtering your data. Click on the down arrow icon in the header row of the column you want to filter. You can then choose from a list of filter options such as sorting A-Z or Z-A, numeric filters such as greater than or less than, or text filters such as contains or does not contain. The list will vary based on the data type of your selected column.

Step 5: Use multiple filters

If you need to apply multiple filters to your data, you can do so by clicking the Filter button in the toolbar, then selecting "Create a filter" or by navigating to Data > Create a filter. Once you've done so, use the filter options in each column to choose your desired filters. This will create an even more precise view of your data.

Step 6: Clear your filters

If you want to clear the filters and return to your original sheet, click on the Filter button in the toolbar and select "Turn off filter" or by going to Data > Turn off filter. This will remove any applied filters and return your sheet to its original state.


The filter function in Google Sheets can be a real time saver when working with large data sets. By following these simple steps, you can quickly find and manipulate your data to suit your needs. Whether you're organizing sales data or sorting a list of names, the filter function is an essential tool for working with spreadsheets.

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