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Google Sheets Filter Function: How and When to Use One

Jan 25, 2023

It can sometimes feel overwhelming when you find yourself faced with a large data set.

With so much information to consume, it can be hard to filter data correctly, and you may end up missing vital information or correlations as a result.

However, the Google Sheets filter function can help prevent those manual errors. This basic filter will help you identify correlations, group data, and so much more. You can filter values, filter criteria, and filter data differently to suit your needs.

Perhaps you need a filter that shows only the data and none of the headings? The filter function Google Sheets can do just that.

Or maybe you need an advanced filter to cover more than only the values from your data set? You can use the filter function for that, too!

Let's look at how you can use the following formula to easily understand and organize your data.

What is the Filter Function?

The Google Sheets filter function is the function you can use to organize your data set and split it into several groups based on one or multiple conditions.

One reason the filter function is so popular for many Google Sheets users is that the results are dynamic. That means if you ever amend any of your data set, the filter evaluation will also change in line with that amendment. The filter function works in real-time, so your data is always up to date.

That is why many businesses use the Google Sheets filter function when they build detailed dashboards or reports. Utilizing filtered data in these instances is essential to highlight correlations, outliers, and potential trends.

Filter Function Function Syntax Explained

All that sounds very useful, right?

Well, in that case, you will want to learn how to use the Google Sheets filter function!

The Google Sheets filter function works the same way other functions do in Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel, through unique function syntax.

Here is the filter formula syntax:

FILTER(range, condition1, [condition2, …]):

Let's break that down and look at it in a little more detail.


This aspect of the filter highlights which cells you want to be included in your filter data range.


This aspect of the filter focuses on the range of data you have highlighted and will be what filters your data. For example, you could add true or false values here and filter accordingly to only show one or the other.


This condition is optional should you want to add multiple conditions to your formula.

When you add several conditions, this can become a large function in Google Sheets, but one that is extremely effective.

If your filter is unable to source a result that meets your criteria, you will see the #N/A error appear.

When Would You Use the Google Filter Function?

To identify information based on one single aspect.

The first great use for the Google Sheets filter function is to identify information based on a single aspect. Perhaps you have a large data set of people all across America, and you need to identify those who live in Ohio.

You can do that quickly and easily by filtering the data to only show those who live in Ohio, to save time crawling through cell after cell of information.

To identify information based on more than one aspect.

But what about when knowing their location is not enough? Don't worry; the Google Sheets filter function can help here too. It can help you find a specific gender, age, demographic, height, or any other information you need by adding multiple conditions.

To highlight the top performers.

The Google Sheets filter function is also fantastic for highlighting top performers from a large data set. It lets you pick out the best of the best and ensure none of the top performers are missed by mistake.

It also helps you identify which people are underperforming and may need additional support.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Google Sheets Filter Formula

How do I use filters in Google Sheets?

The filter function syntax in Google Sheets is FILTER(range, condition1, [condition2, …]) every time you add a filter condition, you can filter multiple columns.

Is there a filter feature in Google Sheets?

There is a single filter function and a multiple filter function within Google Sheets to help you filter your data to perfectly suit your needs.

How do I use the filter function in Google Sheets with multiple criteria?

The more conditions you add to the filter function syntax, the more criteria you can add to your filter.

What does filter do in sheets?

The Google Sheets filter function allows you to organize data in a way that suits you by using the filter view to remove unnecessary data without deleting it.

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