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Google Sheets Does Not Equal

In Google Sheets the does not equal symbol is “<>”.

Does not equal is a comparison operator that you can use to check whether the value of one cell is not equal to the value of another cell.

When you use does not equal in Google Sheets, your formula will evaluate to a boolean value of TRUE or FALSE.

In this tutorial, I will cover everything you need to know about how to use the does not equal operator in Google Sheets.

Table of Contents

Not Equal Concepts Explained

Not equals checks whether the value of one cell is not equal to the value of another cell.

The evaluation using this comparison operator will always return either TRUE or FALSE.

If the values you are comparing are the same, then does not equal will return FALSE.

A “does not equal” A, returns FALSE

If the values you are comparing are not the same, then does not equal will return TRUE.

A “does not equal” B, returns TRUE

When to Use Not Equal

One of the most common reasons that you will need to use the does not equal (also called not equal) in spreadsheets is when filtering through a set of data and comparing it with another set of data.

For example, in the below image I have a list of names in Column A and in column B is a group letter.

If I want to know who is NOT IN group B, I can do a formula of =A<>B. This way I can quickly sort through the data using this comparison operator to pull out anyone not in group B.

not equal to

This is just one example of how to use not equals in spreadsheets. There are many other situations where learning to use it can save you time when working with data.

Google Sheets Not Equal Formula

Again <> means not equal to in Google Sheets. You will also hear it referred to as does not equal.

Here is how you use it in a formula:

  1. Click on the cell where you want the formula to evaluate and press the equals sign on your keyboard “=”
  2. Select the first cell with the data you want to be evaluated
  3. Using your keyboard enter the does not equal symbol of “<>
  4. In quotation marks, enter the value that you are checking the cell against, in the example, I typed “B” inside quotation marks because I wanted to evaluate if the cell was not equal to B.
  5. Press enter to evaluate the formula. If you have more cells you want to check, you can copy and paste the formula down

Not Equal Formula

In step 4 instead of manually entering a value inside quotation marks, you can also use cell reference in your function if you want to compare to another cell instead of using a fixed value.

Other Comparison Operators

Does not equal is just one of six comparison operators that you can use in Google Sheets.

Here are all the comparison operators:

Operator Meaning
= Equals
< Less Than
<= Less Than or Equal To
> Greater Than
>= Greater Than or Equal To
<> Not Equal To

If you want to learn more about these, here is a great resource on how to use these comparison operators in Google Sheets.

Closing Thoughts

Understanding how and when to use not equal to is an important skill to learn for everyone that regularly uses spreadsheets.

If you’re still confused at all about how to do this, please watch the video at the top of the page for a detailed explanation.

More Google Sheets Tutorials:
How to Do Basic Math Formulas
How to Convert Formulas to Values
How to Lock Cell References
How to Search If a Cell Contains a Certain Text