I am a very new QGIS user and have years of experience using the basic functions of ARCGIS. I am having trouble using the select by location feature in QGIS. I have a point layer with locations of a species. I also have a polygon layer that is a grid over a particular area. I need to select the grid squares that contain one or more species locations.

I have made sure both the point and polygon layers are in the same CRS. I have tried it with all of the points selected and none of the point selected. The result I keep getting is after a lot of thinking none of the grid squares are selected.


1 Answer 1


instead using Select by location try to use the Spatial Query core plugin.

Go in the plugin menu and activate it if you cannot see it. Spatial query is available in the Vector menu.

In the dialog window select your grid layer as source layer and the point layer as the reference layer:

enter image description here

and this is the result:

enter image description here

I hope this can help you!

  • Very nice and clear answer!
    – Joseph
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 11:17
  • Hi Matteo, I feel a bit silly because it was such a simple solution but it worked! Thank you. I spent an awful lot of time trying to make select by location work unsuccessfully.
    – John U
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 15:39
  • In QGIS 3, the mentioned plugin is not used anymore. Instead, you can now also choose "Select by location" from the menu - under Vector -> Research Tools.
    – Dobedani
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 11:06

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