Increasing the AutoFilter Drop-Down Limit

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 26, 2019)

If you use the AutoFilter feature of Excel, the drop-down list that appears at the top of a filtered column lists the unique entries in the filtered column. If there are many, many unique entries, then Excel lists only the first 1,000 unique entries in the drop-down list. If you have lists with lots of data, you may wonder if there is a way to increase the number of unique entries that appear.

Unfortunately, there is no way to increase this limit--it is hard-coded into Excel. There are, however, third-party solutions that allow you to count unique records from a list of records. If these are of interest, check www.ozgrid.com for their utilities, or check the following page at Chip Pearson's site:

http://www.cpearson.com/excel/duplicat.htm#CountingUnique

Also, you might consider rethinking how you do filtering on the list. The whole idea behind AutoFiltering is to create small lists from large ones, and it can be reasonably argued that over a thousand records is not a small list.

Instead, you may want to use secondary lists. For instance, if you want to filter by last name, you might add a column that contains only the first letter of each last name. That would result in up to 26 unique items; choose one of the letters, then you can further refine the selection by choosing from the filtered last names within that letter. The "trouble" of clicking twice is offset by the overall data being much more manageable.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2403) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Sections

When you divide your document into sections in order to change page layout attributes, you need to give some thought to ...

Discover More

Avoiding Rounding Errors in Formula Results

Some formulas just don't give the results you expect. Sometimes this is due to the way that Excel handles rounding. ...

Discover More

Getting Pictures Out of Word

If you receive a Word document from someone, you may want to get any graphics it contains into their own files. You can ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Quickly Identifying Applied AutoFilters

Apply an AutoFilter to a worksheet, and you can quickly forget exactly what that AutoFilter entailed. Here are a couple ...

Discover More

Using AutoFiltering

Excel's AutoFilter tool is a great way to make a long list of items much more manageable. This tip explains how to set up ...

Discover More

Toggling AutoFilter

Want a tool that will help you toggle AutoFilter on and off? Excel provides some tools you can use, but you need to be ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.