Fix: Filter in Excel Not Working Properly

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As we already know, filters play a vital role in performing multiple functions in Excel. When you are dealing with larger datasets, you often tend to use filters because it makes your task easy to do. You can organize and summarize data with filters to make your sheet readable.

However, sometimes you might have to face a filter in Excel not working properly problem. It often happens when your dataset has empty cells and to fix this issue, you need to delete these cells. On the other hand, if the problem still exists, then what should you do?

It clearly means that the reason for this issue is something else and you have to identify the reason so that you can fix it accordingly. Below you will find some potential reasons that provoke filter not working in Excel problems along with their solutions.

Reasons for Filter in Excel Not Working and Solutions

Excel Filter Not Working with Blank Rows

This is the most common reason that leads to problems in filter function. If the worksheet has blank rows then you will be unable to click on filter in Excel as it doesn’t work smoothly because filters don’t consider the cells with the first blank spaces. To solve this issue, you have to choose the cell range before using the filter function.

To apply a filter on column C, you can choose the entire column C, or else you can select the data that needs to be filtered.

Choose the “Filter” option from the “Data” tab. In the filter checkbox list, you will see all the values are visible.

Likewise, you can choose the cell ranges or columns before applying the filter function.

Confirm the Entire Data is Selected

When you need to filter a specific range or if the dataset contains blank rows or columns then you have to choose the section that needed to be filtered before applying the Filter function. If you don’t select the area, Excel will choose the cell ranges from the first empty row or column without extra data.

Make sure that you have selected the entire data by selecting manually. Also, consider turning on the filter function to eliminate blank rows. By clicking on the drop-down arrow of a column, you can open up the filter list. Uncheck the Select All and go back to the filter list. Choose Blanks and then press OK.

Now you can see all the blank rows. It becomes easier to highlight the rows because the row number is colored in blue. You can delete them by selecting and right-clicking on the top of the rows’ blue numbers.

Select the Delete option and the rows will be deleted. Now, turn off the filter option and all the rows will be removed.

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Remove Blank Rows or Columns

Technically, this method is similar to the above methods somehow because all these methods ask to delete the blank cells or rows and columns. Below are some steps to follow:

Open the column that has the filter list.

Click on the drop-down arrow and make sure you uncheck the box for Select All.

Scroll down and click on the Blanks option.

Press OK and save the file.

Manually these cells can be removed by following these steps.

  1. Right-click on the row next to the blank cell.
  2. Click on the Delete option and remove the blank rows or columns.

Check for Merged Cells

If your dataset has merged cells, you can face the filter in Excel not working properly issue. At first, you need to unmerge the merged cells to open the individual content of each row and column. In case the column headings are merged, you will not be able to select items while filtering from one of the merged columns.

Also, note that filtering does not apply to any merged rows.

Check the Column Headings 

The column headings also can be a reason for this issue in Excel. To get rid of the excel filter function not working problem, follow the steps given below:

  1. Find the data containing one row or column heading.
  2. Type the first line to have more than one line for the heading.
  3. Now, press the ALT + ENTER key and type the new line of the cell.
  4. In such cases, the Wrap Text function is suitable because you need to format cells.

Check for Errors

Make sure your data does not have any errors. If you are trying to filter the Top 10, Above Average, or Below Average values in the list, you must apply a Number Filter. If you have not applied the Number filter, it will appear as an error.

Using the filter is necessary to overcome the errors. Generally, errors are enlisted at the end of your list.

Click on the error and press OK. Once the error is identified, it becomes easier to fix or remove it.

Final Thoughts 

Now, you’ve got an answer to the query “Why is filter not working in Excel”, that’s why you can try any of the above-mentioned solutions and easily get rid of the Excel filter not showing all values issue.

Each of the above methods can help you fix the issue filter in Excel not working properly. Excel allows you to enjoy experiencing different functions including analyzing and managing data.

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