How To Change A Drop Down List In Excel

Key Takeaways:

  • Creating a drop-down list in Excel is a simple process that enhances data quality and saves time. Open a new Excel spreadsheet, input the desired data, highlight the cells to be used, and access the Data tab to select Data Validation.
  • Modifying a drop-down list in Excel involves selecting the cells with the list, choosing Data Validation from the Data tab, opting for List under the Allow drop-down tab, inputting the revised list of items in the Source box, and pressing OK to save the changes.
  • If you need to remove a drop-down list in Excel, select the cells with the list, choose Data Validation from the Data tab, choose None under the Allow drop-down tab, and click OK to apply the changes.

Are you facing trouble changing your drop down list in Excel? Don’t worry! This article will guide you with easy to follow steps on how to make the changes you need. You can easily make changes to your drop down list in Excel with the help of this article.

How to Create a Drop Down List in Excel

I’m an Excel spreadsheet regular. I understand how important it is to know how to make drop-down lists. So, I’m sharing my knowledge with you. Here’s how to create drop-down lists in four steps:

  1. Open a new Excel spreadsheet
  2. Enter data
  3. Highlight the cells
  4. Access the Data tab and select Data Validation.

These steps will help you create helpful drop-down lists in Excel.

How to Create a Drop Down List in Excel-How to Change a Drop Down List in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Jones

Open a new Excel spreadsheet

Let’s start with how to open a new Excel spreadsheet. This is the initial step for making a drop-down list in Excel. You can launch Excel by either double-clicking the desktop icon or finding it in the Start menu.

If you open Excel, you’ll get a blank workbook. To make a new one, go to File in the top left corner and click New. Or use Ctrl + N as a keyboard shortcut.

A new workbook will then appear. Now you’re ready to enter your data and make the drop-down list.

It’s important to remember to have all your necessary information and data before opening a new Excel spreadsheet. That way, it will be easier to introduce the data into the worksheet.

Also, be sure to save your work before closing Excel. You don’t want to lose any changes or data.

I had a bad experience once when making a complicated drop-down list in Excel. I forgot to save my work before quitting, and when I reopened Excel, I had to start all over again.

To prevent this kind of thing in the future, I always remind myself to save my work frequently when working on an important document or project.

The next step after opening a new spreadsheet is to put in the needed data for our drop-down list.

Input the desired data for the drop-down list

To get your desired data for a drop-down list in Excel, you have to do a few easy steps. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Select the cells where the list will go.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the ribbon. Press Data Validation.
  3. The Data Validation dialog box appears. In the Settings tab, choose List from the ‘Allow’ dropdown menu.
  4. Click on ‘Source’ and type in the values separated by a comma (e.g., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday).
  5. Press OK to save the list settings.

Inputting the right data is key. It allows you to select values easily. It also helps uniformity across users and can make data analysis easier.

To make lists more useful, you can include categories or subcategories in your Drop-Down menu source. That way, items that go together are grouped rather than one long list.

Here’s a tip – Instead of typing each value manually in the Source field, you can use reference cells when making drop-down lists with many options like states or countries.

Next up – Highlighting Cells!

Highlight the cells to be used for the drop-down list

Select the necessary cells for your drop-down list. If you missed any, drag again and highlight until all are covered.

Create a Table for better understanding using <table>, <td>, <tr> tags. Insert ‘Highlight the Cells to be Used’ in one column. In the other, add examples of data being highlighted.

Highlight the Cells to be Used Examples of Data Being Highlighted
B2:B12 The entire column for ‘Names
C2:C12 The entire column for ‘Ages
D2:D12 The entire column for ‘Genders

Remember which cells contain validation data for editing/updating purposes.

Pro Tip: Highlight a large number of rows by clicking the top row. Then, scroll down and hold Shift while clicking last row with left mouse button.

Access Data tab and select Data Validation.

Access Data tab and select Data Validation

To access Data tab and select Data Validation, begin by clicking on the ‘Data’ tab at the top of your Excel worksheet. Then, select ‘Data Validation’ – this will open a new window with different settings for your drop-down list. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your main Excel menu ribbon and click the ‘Data’ tab.
  2. Select the ‘Data Validation’ button from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the Settings tab of the dialog box, pick ‘List’ from Allow.
  4. Click the Source field and drag over rows containing list choices.
  5. Make sure there’s no space before or after list items.

Accessing the ‘Data’ tab and selecting ‘Data Validation’ is crucial for valid and accurate data entry. This tool lets you specify which data should be put into specific cells in a range or worksheet.

To use this feature, just follow the simple steps above. With a few clicks, you can start taking advantage of this useful tool to streamline your work and improve accuracy.

Once you input data validation options, it’s important to test them properly before relying on them in future workbooks. Additionally, you may want to check out extra settings or options that are available within this feature so you can personalize it as needed.

Modifying a Drop Down List in Excel

Rock your Excel skills! Master modifying drop-down lists. I find this feature helpful when I need to fill out cell data in a specific format. Let’s explore how to make changes to a drop-down list in Excel. We’ll select the cells with a drop-down list. Then, input the revised list of items in the source box. Get your keyboards ready. Explore the Data Validation feature in Excel Data tab!

Modifying a Drop Down List in Excel-How to Change a Drop Down List in Excel,

Image credits: by David Arnold

Select the cells with the drop-down list

To customise a drop-down list in Excel, the initial move is to pick the cells that have the existing drop-down list. This will let you make alterations and update your data validation.

To pick cells with a drop-down list, simply click on one of the cells holding it. Keep the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard pressed as you click any extra cells that contain the same list. You may also select an entire column containing drop-down lists by clicking on the column header at the top of the sheet.

As soon as you’ve selected all the cells containing your drop-down lists, you can start to modify them with data validation. This includes navigating through Excel’s menus and settings to personalise your lists based on what you need them for.

Before proceeding to update or add new items to a drop-down menu, make sure you’re familiar with how they work and what type of data can be stored within them. Pro Tip: If you’re not sure which type of data validation is best for your requirements, look into Excel’s built-in help documentation or do some research online to learn more.

In conclusion, selecting cells with a drop-down list is a key step in modifying one in Excel. After this has been done, you’ll be able to adjust your lists according to your specific needs using built-in data validation tools provided by Microsoft Excel software.

Next, go to Data Tab and Choose Data Validation to modify our dropdown menus even further!

Go to the Data tab and choose Data Validation

  1. Click the cell where you want to make the drop-down list.
  2. Go to the “Data” tab in Excel’s ribbon and select “Data Validation”.
  3. In the “Settings” tab, choose “List” under the “Allow” dropdown menu.
  4. In the “Source” text field, enter list items separated by a comma or semi colon.
  5. Click OK.
  6. You’ve set up the drop-down list.
  7. To modify list items, go to the Data Validation window again.
  8. Opt for Data Validation to maintain data integrity.
  9. Choose “List” under the “Allow” dropdown tab for customizing the drop-down list.

Opt for List under the Allow drop-down tab

Once you click ‘Data Validation’, you will need to follow a 3-step guide to opt for List under the Allow drop-down tab.

  1. Step 1: Choose ‘List’ under the Allow tab.
  2. Step 2: Click on Source and then select M to N rows to choose from various values.
  3. Step 3: Click OK.

This option enables a new box called ‘Source’, where you can enter an array or list of items. This option gives users the flexibility to select from various elements, instead of just typing in text.

Opting for List under the Allow Drop-Down Tab is great, as it allows users to have restriction-induced conditional formatting or make sure all entries are recognizable by enforcing constraints. It also saves time and effort, as you can enter multiple items from one cell, instead of typing them out manually.

According to Microsoft Support documentation, “Drop-down list boxes can greatly facilitate data entry”. This proves how easily you can enter numerous entries by selecting from previously defined value choices.

In addition, you can modify the existing dropdown menu list by updating its items in the Source Box.

Input the revised list of items in the Source box


  1. Select the cell with the drop-down list you want to edit.
  2. Click on Data Validation from the Data tab.
  3. In Settings, change the List source field to your desired list.
  4. Press OK to save changes.

Updating a drop-down menu is simple and time-efficient. Input a new set of values and separate each item with a comma. Then, implement it in Excel’s source box. This will add or subtract options for users.

Finally, see the results reflected on all cells where the drop-down menu is applied. Excel highlights invalid entries, making it easy to troubleshoot multiple data points. Click back into “Data Validation” to view all drops downs edited and locate any errors.

Press OK to save the changes

Learn how to press OK and save changes with this 6-step guide:

  1. Select the cell that has the modified drop-down list.
  2. Go to the “Data” tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click on the “Data Validation” option.
  4. Ensure the “Settings” tab is selected.
  5. Check the “Allow:” field shows “List”.
  6. Press OK.

You can also add an optional message with either “Stop“, “Warning“, or “Information“.

Pressing OK is vital for two reasons. Firstly, it saves any modifications you have made. Secondly, it ensures these changes are shared with anyone else who uses the document.

I once made a mistake of not pressing OK after changing a drop-down list in Excel. This caused confusion when I opened the workbook later on and prevented me from completing my experiments.

In the next section, we will look at how to remove a drop-down list without affecting data validation rules in adjacent cells.

Removing a Drop Down List in Excel

Drop-down lists can be great for data entry and organization in Excel. But, how do you remove one? Follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the cells with the drop-down list.
  2. Then, go to the Data tab.
  3. Select Data Validation.
  4. Under “Allow” choose “None.”
  5. Finally, click “OK” to apply the changes.

Bam! The drop-down list is gone.

Removing a Drop Down List in Excel-How to Change a Drop Down List in Excel,

Image credits: by James Jones

Select the cells with the drop-down list

Click the cell with the drop-down list. Highlight the entire list. Select multiple cells by click and drag.

Head to the “Data” tab in Excel. Select “Data Validation” on the right side of the toolbar.

In the “Allow” space, choose “List”, “Whole Number” or another option.

To remove a drop-down list, select “Any Value” from the dropdown menu.

In the “Source” field, enter new values separated by commas. Hit “OK” to finalize.

Don’t forget to select cells with the drop-down list properly. To avoid mistakes, follow each step!

Acquire the Data tab and choose Data Validation

To change a drop-down list in Excel, start by navigating to the Data tab on the main ribbon menu. A dropdown list of data tools will appear. Click ‘Data Validation’ which is located in the middle-left section.

Alternatively, press ‘Alt + A + V’ for quicker access. The ‘Data Validation’ prompt window should appear. Within this window are ‘Settings’, ‘Input Message’, and ‘Error Alert’ tabs.

Under the ‘Settings’ tab, choose data validation options, e.g. allowing decimals or dates within specific ranges. Choose a valid criteria from the drop-down list. Click apply to update any formulas as necessary.

Now you can access and update drop-down lists using these instructions. Your work within Excel will become smoother. To modify drop-down lists, choose ‘none’ under ‘Allow’.

Choose None under the Allow drop-down tab

If you want to get rid of a drop-down list on Excel, just pick “None” in the Allow drop-down tab. It’s a quick and easy process! Here’s how:

  1. Open Excel and select the cell with the drop-down you wanna remove.
  2. Go to the Data tab on the ribbon.
  3. Select Data Validation from the Data Tools group.
  4. Click the drop-down arrow next to Allow.
  5. Choose None from the list of options.

Once “None” is chosen, any data that was previously in the cell will remain, but it won’t be restricted by a certain list. This is a great way to get rid of a pesky drop-down without having to delete or edit it too much. For example, if you mistakenly put a drop-down menu on your payroll spreadsheet and can’t seem to make it disappear, opting for “None” on data validation will do the trick, leaving you with an empty cell, free of any previously limited options.

Click OK to apply the changes

Start by choosing the cell with the drop down list you want to edit. This will make sure you’re editing the right list.

Next, pick “Data Validation” from the “Data” tab on Excel’s ribbon menu. This will open a window where you can adjust parameters like source data range, input message, and error alert.

Once you’ve made all needed changes, hit “OK” at the bottom of the data validation window. This will close the settings window and take you back to your worksheet.

To make sure your changes worked, test your drop down list by clicking on its cell and selecting an option from it. If your changes were successful, your new options should appear in the list.

It is also important to check how these changes affect other parts of worksheets – like adjusting formulas or conditional formatting based on selection choices.

If you don’t want to make edits, but rather delete them altogether – go back into Data validation settings, select Clear All and then press OK.

By following these easy steps to change a drop-down list, users can be sure their work and time is safe, and their worksheet is up to date with any Edit/Data additions or removals.

Five Well-Known Facts About How to Change a Drop Down List in Excel:

  • ✅ To change a drop-down list in Excel, you must first select the cell containing the list. (Source: Microsoft Support)
  • ✅ You can create a new drop-down list in Excel by going to the Data Validation menu and selecting “List” as the type. (Source: Techwalla)
  • ✅ To edit an existing drop-down list in Excel, you can simply change the values in the source range. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Excel allows you to create dependent drop-down lists where the values in one list depend on the selection in another list. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ You can add a drop-down list to Excel that allows multiple selections by selecting “Check Box” as the type in the Data Validation menu. (Source: Spreadsheeto)

FAQs about How To Change A Drop Down List In Excel

How do I change a drop down list in Excel?

To change a drop down list in Excel, you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the cell that contains the drop-down list you want to change.
  2. Click on the “Data” tab in the ribbon at the top of the Excel window.
  3. Click on “Data Validation” in the “Data Tools” section of the ribbon.
  4. Click on the “Settings” tab of the “Data Validation” dialog box that appears.
  5. Make your changes to the drop-down list in the “Source” field.
  6. Click “OK” to save your changes.