How to Use the Auto Filter in Microsoft Excel with this Great Keyboard Shortcut

Last updated on September 14, 2011 By

If you need to sort through, sift or filter many rows of data in Excel it’s useful to know how to apply and clear Excel’s auto-filter feature quickly. We put together a 6 minute video to explain how you can use a handy keyboard shortcut to filter and unfilter data in Excel.

There is also a spreadsheet for you to download so you can follow along with the video. You’ll need Excel 2007 or 2010 for the spreadsheet to work.

Excel Auto Filter and Keyboard Shortcut

The video is best viewed in HD. You can also view it in Youtube by clicking here.

The keyboard shortcut to apply and remove filters is Ctrl + Shift + L. You must first select a cell inside your data table before you press Ctrl + Shift + L, so that Excel knows to apply filters on that table and not somewhere else.

When you have applied more than one filter and want to clear all of the filters at once, it’s very handy to press Ctrl + Shift + L twice, first time to remove all filters and second time to reapply the filters.

Sample Spreadsheet (.xlsx file for Excel 2007 and 2010)

To download the spreadsheet I used in the video, please click on the download link here. The data from the spreadsheet is available freely from the World Bank website at

I use the acronym “GNI” a lot in the video and if you’re interested, here is a brief description from the World Bank “GNI per capita (formerly GNP per capita) is the gross national income, converted to U.S. dollars using the World Bank Atlas method, divided by the midyear population.”

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