Hi there! Are you facing an issue with Excel filtering not working? Take a chill pill, as we’ve got your back. These are the best results in 2023 for solving this problem.

To make your Excel filter work ensure that you have selected the required data properly, ensure that there are no blank or hidden rows or columns, unmerge the cells, and that there are no data errors in the sheet. You can remove the previous filter and go for a new one. Make sure that your sheets are ungrouped and not in protect mode.

Each solution has been given as step-by-step instructions in the adjoining article. Reach the bottom of this ocean to get all up and personal with the answers and details of the solution and the situation causes. So let’s begin with the fun!

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Why Can’t I Filter in Excel?

Many factors lead to the issue of the Excel filter not working. We can start with the long list of the causes right away:filter in excel

  • The data is not selected properly.
  • The presence of blank rows or blank columns may interrupt the Excel filtering.
  • Some rows/columns may be hidden in Excel..
  • Existence of merged cells.
  • Problems with Data.
  • The sheets are grouped together.
  • The sheets are in Protected mode.

These causes may lead to Excel filtering not working on your PC.

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Methods to Solve

To ensure the proper working of the Excel filtering function on your system, you must carry out a series of reformative methods. Each of these methods is proven to give satisfactory results. These are some checkpoints to ensure proper implementation of the Excel filter to solve the issue of the filter not working in Excel.

Proper Selection

The first method to solve the issue of Excel filtering not working is to ensure that the data you want to filter is appropriately selected. There should be no scope for flaws.proper selection in excel

You have to choose the selection on which you wish to apply the filter. Otherwise, Excel uses it on the entire sheet, which may give unwanted results.

Removal of Blank Rows or Columns

While making the selection, you must ensure that you don’t cover any rows and columns that are not containing any data or are empty. You must manually select all the data you want to filter, as it would leave out the scope of blank rows/ columns.do not select empty rows.

To implement this practically, take the mentioned steps. Choose which of the row or columns you wish to filter. Through the drop-down menu, you’ll have to uncheck the box beside the option Select All. Start scrolling down, and you’ll reach an option called Blanks. Select that and save the file.

This completes your process of leaving out the blank rows. You must delete all the blank rows and ensure that all you have is the data.

Unhiding the Rows and Columns

Excel is made to filter out those rows and columns that are hidden away in an Excel sheet. It would be best to make the hidden rows visible; only then can you filter them.unhide the rows

This is generally the most common reason for filters in Excel not working.

First, identify the hidden rows or columns in a sheet. You can locate them in two ways:

  1. two lines inside the Excel row headings represent them
  2. spot any missing letters from the Excel index, and you will find them.

Once made out, select the adjacent row and column. You’ll find the Format option on the Home tab. Click on the drop-down icon and go for Hide and Unhide marked options. The last step is to select the Unhide Rows and Unhide Columns option as suited. Also, click here to read about the best methods to add line.  

This was another method capable of fixing Excel filtering not working.

Unmerging the Merged Cells

The Excel filters not working can be solved through another method, to look for the merged cells in the sheet. Excel doesn’t operate filters on merged cells, so ensuring that all cells are solitary and not merged is necessary. Also, learn how to repair corrupted Excel files.merge-cells-in-excel

To do so, locate any merged cells and go to the Home tab. Within that, you’ll find an Alignment section. After choosing the Merge and Center option, it will prompt you further. In this, go for the option marked as Unmerge Cells.

Eliminating Errors

The Excel filters feature only works if the data values are correct. It doesn’t work on faulty calculations. So, you must ensure that you have only errorless values.errors in excels

First, reach the filter list column to ensure you have all error-free values. Within that, go to the drop-down menu and untick the Select All box. Scrolling down, you’ll see an option marked as #Value! You have to select this. Clicking okay would save your preferences. Read here to learn how to fix errors in Excel!

Use a New Filter

Sometimes everything may be okay with your sheet, but the filter cannot perform due to a back-end issue. You can remove the existing filter and customize another one to resolve this. This happens because not all filters work on all kinds of data sets.filter-column-in-excel

It would be best if you reached the Data menu. Next to the button marked filter, you’ll find an option marked clear. After selecting what data you want to apply the filter on, choose it and apply the filter.

Ensure Sheets are Ungrouped

Excel doesn’t work on sheets joined in a group; therefore, they must be separated. Reach the bottom tab.joined sheets in excel In this tab, locate a sheet and right-click on that. You’ll find the ungroup option there.

Remove Protection from Sheets

Navigate to the Review option of the Excel workspace. Here, reach the option marked Unprotect Sheet. You get to enter a safe password, and then you can approve your action.how-to-unprotect-excel-sheet

You have to do so because Excel doesn’t perform its filtering functions on the protected sheets; therefore, you need to make them unprotected first.

Each of these methods has been helpful in the past to solve the issue of Excel filtering not working, and they will help you too.

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How many types of filters exist in excel?

Three general kinds of filters exist in Excel. They include filtering based on values, format, and using criteria.

Can I use more than one filter together?

No. Excel only allows one filter to be used at a time. They are not used in a mix.

Elaborate Sorting in Excel?

Sorting is another function of Excel that arranges the data in a specific order.

What is the use of autosum in Excel?

It is a mathematical tool in-built Excel to ease user calculation. A simple click would result in the total values filled in the rows/ columns.


You have learned how to solve the issue of Excel filtering not working. All the reasons for the problem and all possible solutions are here for you. This should suffice for now. You have to implement these actions in your Excel sheets and test them.

We are sure you will quickly get past the situation after these solutions. Also, you may need a mix of the methods and combinations of the answers given to you per your requirements.

You must first find out what is causing the filtering issue in your Excel and then decide which solutions to employ.