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How To Fix Google Sheets Filter Not Working (Solved)

Are you facing issues with your Google Sheets filter not working as expected?

Don’t worry; we’ll break it down for you in simple terms.

  • Data Format: One common reason your filter does not work correctly is the data format. Imagine your data as a puzzle; the Google Sheets filter not working properly could be because the pieces aren’t in the right order. The filter function understands specific formats like data neatly organized in a list or a table. If your data is messy or scattered, it can cause the Google Sheets filter to not work as it should.
  • Data Range: Think of your data as a big book, and the Google Sheets filter tool as a magnifying glass. The filter tool can only zoom in on specific pages, essentially a range of cells. If your data is on pages that the magnifying glass can’t reach, you guessed it – the Google Sheets filter not working issue can crop up.

But here’s the good news. If you’re experiencing the issue with filter function not working, we’ve got your back. We’ll show you two straightforward methods to fix the issue of the Google Sheets filter not working for your specific data.

Scenario/Use Case

Imagine you run a small online store selling handmade jewelry. You’ve been using Google Sheets to manage your inventory, keeping track of your various jewelry items, their prices, and quantities in stock. However, recently, you’ve noticed that the Google Sheets filter is not working as expected, causing you some frustration.

You decide to troubleshoot the issue using the information provided. You soon realize that you’ve been inputting your inventory data haphazardly, with some items listed in rows and others in columns. This disorganized format might be why the Google Sheets filter is not working properly.

You learn from the content that the Google Sheets filter functions best with data in a specific format, like a list or a table. You decide to reorganize your inventory data into a clean table format, ensuring each item is listed in rows with all relevant details in columns. Now, the Google Sheets filter should work smoothly.

Google Sheet Filter Not Working: Fixing The Issue

Now that you understand why the Google Sheets filter isn’t working, let’s walk through a simple, step-by-step guide to show you how to fix it.

To make it easy to follow, we’ll use the sample data below:

Google Sheets Filter Not Working While Typing In Filter In Values

Imagine you’ve set up a filter, and you want to find specific items in a column by typing something into the search box. However, even though you typed in your search term, the column isn’t filtering as expected.

This happens to some folks because they forget to pick the filter values after searching.

To illustrate this problem, check out this short video below. We’re attempting to filter items in column C with the word “Gold,” but it’s not working as it should.

Now, here is how to get it to work

Step 1: Uncheck All Selections

The first thing we want to do here is click on the filter icon next to the Materials column. You’ll be presented with different options. Scroll all the way down and uncheck all selections. 

To do that, click “Clear” inside the Filter by values option and then OK. 

Step 2: Search Value And Select

After unchecking all the earlier selections, repeat the same process, but this time, search for the value again. As per this example, we will search for Gold and select this option. Once we do that, we can go ahead and click OK.

After locking in that option, your spreadsheet should be filtered to reflect your selection. Here is what our spreadsheet looks like: 

From the screenshot above, you can see that we have gotten the filter to work. Now, that’s one way to resolve the Google Sheets filter not working problem.  

Fix Issues with the Filter in Google Sheets

If you’re having trouble making filters work in Google Sheets, don’t worry. You can try this simple solution to fix the problem.

Let’s use the same sample data as before for this demonstration.

Step 1: Select Data Range

Let’s start by selecting the range of data in our spreadsheet for which we want to resolve our filter problem. For this example, we will select the entire data in our spreadsheet. 

Step 2: Remove Filter

Having selected our range of data, we need to remove the filter we applied earlier. To do that, navigate to the Data menu, scroll down and choose the option for “Remove filter.”

After selecting the option for “Remove filter,” Google Sheets should automatically remove the filter earlier applied. Here is what our spreadsheet now looks like after removing the filter. 

From the screenshot above, you can see that we have successfully removed the filter we applied earlier. 

Step 3: Reapply Filter

With the filter we earlier added now removed, let’s go back to our spreadsheet to reapply the filter. 

We can do this by simply clicking on the filer icon on the tools tab: 

Once you’ve clicked the filter icon, it should appear in your column headers.

Look at our spreadsheet below to see how we added the filter icon again.

Step 4: Test The Filter

Now that we’ve added our filter icon, let’s do a quick test to see if it works. In this example, we want to filter the “Material” column to find “Gold.”

To do this, follow these steps. Click on the filter icon in the “Material” column header. Scroll all the way down and uncheck all the options except “Gold.” Then click OK.

This way, you’ll only see items made of “Gold” in your filtered results. Check out the screenshot below for filtered selection. 

In the example we discussed earlier, we successfully filtered the “Material” column to show only items made of Gold.

That’s how easy it is to fix Google Sheets filter not working. 

Final Thoughts 

To wrap up, if you ever find that the Google Sheets filter not working as expected, don’t fret. It’s a common issue, and there are straightforward ways to fix it.

Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Organize Your Data: Make sure your data is neatly arranged in rows and columns, like a table. This helps the filter function understand your information.
  • Consolidate Data: Keep all your data in one place, on one sheet. This ensures the filter can work correctly within a specific range.
  • Select Your Data Range: Click on any cell within your data to let Google Sheets know which data you want to filter.
  • Activate the Filter: In the “Data” menu, choose “Create a filter” to enable the filter tool. You’ll see filter icons appear in your header cells.
  • Use the Filter: Click on the filter icon in the column you want to filter. Then, select your filter option or values.
  • Clear Filters: If you need to start fresh, you can clear any applied filters by clicking on the filter icon and choosing “Clear.”
  • Test Your Filters: After applying filters, make sure they work as expected. You can always refine your filters to find the exact data you need.

Remember, it’s all about making your data work for you. With these simple steps, you can tackle the Google Sheets filter issue and get your data in order.

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