How to Add a Dropdown List in Google Sheets

Marty Youssef
Last updated on
December 21, 2023

Managing extensive datasets in Google Sheets can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.

A key to navigating this sea of data with ease lies in the effective use of dropdown lists. This tutorial is designed to guide you through the seamless process of adding, editing, and utilizing dropdown lists in Google Sheets. By the end of this tutorial, you'll be able to create and manage dropdown lists, turning your Google Sheets into a more organized, efficient, and user-friendly tool.

How to Create a Dropdown List in Google Sheets

Creating a dropdown list in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. Here's how you can do it:

1. Select the cell or cells: Begin by opening your Google Sheets document and selecting the cell or range of cells where you want the dropdown list to appear.

2. Access Data Validation: Click on 'Data' in the menu bar, then select 'Data validation.'

Alternatively, you can just right click over the cell(s) you'd like a dropdown list to show and select 'Dropdown'.

 Access Data Validation Panel Google Sheets

3. Enter dropdown options: In the data validation panel, you can enter your dropdown values as separate options and even assign each a unique color. You can add more options by simply clicking the 'Add another item' button.

Data Validation Panel in Google Sheets

4. Click Done: Now you will see the dropdown options in each of the cells you initially selected in step 1 above.

Google Sheets Dropdown

How to Create a Dropdown List Using Existing Data

If you have a list of values already in your sheet, you can use these for your dropdown list:

1. Highlight the cells with the values that you want in your dropdown list

 Access Data Validation Panel Google Sheets with Existing Data

2. Click on 'Data' in the menu bar, then select 'Data validation.' The value of the cells you highlighted will be already populated as unique options. You can update the color for each option which is grey by default.

Data Validation Panel With Existing Data in Google Sheets

3. Click Done and you will now see the dropdown options in each of the cells highlighted in step 1 above.

How to Edit or Remove a Dropdown List

Editing or removing a dropdown list is just as easy:

1. Select the Dropdown Cell: First, navigate to the cell that contains the dropdown list you wish to edit.

2. Access Editing Mode: Click on the cell, and then look for the Edit icon, which resembles a pencil, to enter the editing mode for the dropdown list.

3. Modify Data Validation Rules: The 'Data validation rules' panel will appear. Here, you can make any necessary changes to your dropdown list. This could involve adjusting the list items or changing the source of the data. If you need to remove the dropdown list entirely, you can do so by selecting the 'Remove rule' option.

4. Save Changes: Once you're satisfied with your modifications, click 'Done' to finalize the changes.

Edit Dropdown list Google Sheets


Dropdown lists in Google Sheets are a fantastic way to ensure data consistency and streamline data entry processes. Whether you’re using existing data, or need to modify your lists, the steps outlined above will guide you through managing dropdown lists with ease. Embrace this feature to make your Google Sheets experience more efficient and error-free.

Marty Youssef
Marty is a digital marketer with over 8 years working with clients to introduce word class software solutions for their business.