How To Add a Cell Dropdown in Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add a cell dropdown in Google Sheets.

How To Add a Cell Dropdown in Google Sheets

Drop down menus are an easy way to add a layer of interactivity to your Google Sheets. A drop down menu allows users to select from a list of available options, making it easier to input data into your spreadsheet. It also acts as a form of data validation, preventing users from mistyping or entering the wrong data.

In this guide, we will show you how to add a cell dropdown in Google Sheets. We will explain how to add options manually and how to populate the dropdown menu from an existing range.

How To Insert a Dropdown Menu in Google Sheets

Here’s how to insert a dropdown menu in Google Sheets.

Step 1

To add a cell dropdown list in your spreadsheet, you must first select the target cell you want to convert into a dropdown list.

In this example, we want the user to select a meal from a list of options. We want the result to appear in cell C2.

Step 2

In the Data menu, click on the Data validation option.

Step 3

A panel labeled ‘Data validation rules’ will appear on the right side of your screen.

Click on the Add rule button to proceed.

Step 4

Select the option ‘Dropdown’ as the main criteria type.

By default, Google Sheets will provide two placeholder options.

Step 5

You can replace these options by editing the values in each textbox. Click on the ‘Add another item’ button to add more options as needed.

Click on the ‘Done’ button to apply the data validation.

Step 6

Users should now be able to click on the cell to find a dropdown list to choose values from.

Step 7

You may even specify different colors for different options.

The colored labels can make your dropdown list easier to navigate for users, especially if you have plenty of options or would like to categorize the options a certain way.

Step 8

Besides writing down the options one by one, you may also choose to retrieve the options from an existing range.

Select the Dropdown (from a range) option and click on the textbox below.

Step 9

Select the cell range that will populate the dropdown list. Hit the OK button to proceed.

Step 10

Google Sheets will automatically fill out options from the cell range into the Data validation rules panel.

Step 11

Your dropdown list should now have options coming from an existing range.


This guide should be everything you need to add a cell dropdown in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.