How to Search in Google Sheets on PC or Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Searching in Google Sheets is a straightforward process that can save you time and assist with data management. Whether you’re using a PC or a Mac, the steps are the same. Simply use the “Find and replace” feature under the “Edit” menu, input your search query, and navigate through the results.

After completing the action, the specific data you searched for will be highlighted in your sheet, allowing you to quickly locate the information you need without manually scanning through columns and rows.


Google Sheets is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data. Whether you’re a student, a business professional, or someone who just loves to keep things in order, knowing how to search in Google Sheets efficiently can make your life a whole lot easier. Think about it: sheets filled with data, and you need to find that one piece of information buried in a sea of numbers or text. Instead of squinting your eyes and scanning every cell, there’s a nifty feature built right into Google Sheets that allows you to search for specific content with just a few clicks.

This capability is not only a massive time-saver but also a way to reduce errors that might occur when manually looking for data. From finding a particular figure in a financial report to searching for a name in a large contact list, this function is versatile and relevant to anyone using Google Sheets. So let’s dive into the steps to achieve this seemingly magical feat!

Step by Step Tutorial

Before we begin, understand that the steps below will help you find specific text or numbers in your sheet with ease.

Step 1: Open “Find and replace”

Access the “Find and replace” function by clicking on the “Edit” menu.

Once you’ve clicked on “Edit,” you’ll see a drop-down menu. Near the bottom, there’s the “Find and replace” option, which you should click on to initiate your search.

Step 2: Enter your search query

Type the word or number you’re looking for in the “Find” field of the pop-up window.

This step is crucial because what you type here is what Google Sheets will search for in your document. Make sure you enter it exactly as you expect it to appear in the sheet.

Step 3: Navigate search results

Use the “Find” and “Replace” buttons to jump to each occurrence of your search query or replace it with different content.

After entering your query, you can click “Find” to jump to the first instance of the word or number. If you want to replace it, simply type the new content in the “Replace with” field and click “Replace.”


Saves TimeSearching manually through rows and columns can be tedious and time-consuming. Using the search feature streamlines this process.
Increases AccuracyAutomating the search reduces the risk of overlooking the data you need, which can happen when scanning through information manually.
Enhances Data ManagementQuickly finding and replacing data can help maintain the integrity of your dataset, making it more reliable for analysis.


May Miss VariationsIf data is not consistently formatted, you might miss variations of your search query that are spelled or formatted differently.
Limited Search OptionsUnlike more advanced search tools, Google Sheets’ search functionality is relatively basic and doesn’t allow for complex queries.
Can’t Search Across Multiple SheetsThe search function is limited to the sheet you’re currently viewing, which means you can’t search across an entire workbook at once.

Additional Information

When you’re working with Google Sheets, knowing how to search effectively can save you a lot of hassle. But there’s more to it than just the basic search. Have you ever considered using wildcards? Wildcards are special characters that can represent one or more characters in your search query. They’re incredibly useful when you’re not sure about the exact data you’re searching for or if you’re dealing with variations in spelling or formatting.

Another tip is to use the “Match case” and “Match entire cell contents” options in the “Find and replace” window for more precise searches. Remember, the more you know about the tools at your disposal, the more efficient you’ll become at handling data in Google Sheets.


  1. Open the “Find and replace” feature from the “Edit” menu.
  2. Enter the text or number you’re searching for in the “Find” field.
  3. Use the “Find” and “Replace” buttons to navigate through or change the search results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I search within a specific range of cells?

Yes, before opening the “Find and replace” window, you can select a range of cells where you want to conduct your search, and Google Sheets will limit the search to that range.

Is it possible to use regular expressions for searches in Google Sheets?

Yes, Google Sheets supports regular expressions, which can be enabled by ticking the “Search using regular expressions” box in the “Find and replace” window.

Can I search for formulas instead of values in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can search for specific formulas by choosing the “Search in formulas” option in the “Find and replace” window.

How do I search in Google Sheets on mobile?

The process is similar, but you’ll use the three dots menu to access the “Find and replace” feature on the Google Sheets mobile app.

Can I undo a replace action after executing it in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can press Ctrl + Z on a PC or Command + Z on a Mac to undo the action immediately after it is performed.


Mastering the search function in Google Sheets is a game-changer for anyone who regularly interacts with data. It’s a simple yet powerful skill that enhances your productivity and data management capabilities. Whether you’re on a PC or a Mac, the steps are essentially the same and just as effective. Remember, though, that while searching in Google Sheets can streamline your work, it’s not without its limitations. Being aware of these will help you use the tool more effectively.

For those looking to further enhance their Google Sheets expertise, exploring additional functions like conditional formatting, pivot tables, and data validation could be your next step. Happy searching, and may your data always be within easy reach!