How To Add Checkboxes to Dropdowns in Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 3, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to add checkboxes to dropdowns in Google Sheets

How To Add Checkboxes to Dropdowns in Google Sheets

Google Sheets makes it easy to create dropdown menus in your cells, using the Data Validation feature. This can be useful if you want to give your users some choices to select from.

One way to make your dropdowns more user-friendly is to add checkboxes next to the items in the list. Which can be helpful if you want your users to be able to select multiple items from the list.

In this guide, we will show you how to add checkboxes to dropdowns in Google Sheets, using some special characters.

How To Set Up Dropdown List with Checkboxes as an Option in Google Sheets

Here’s how to set up a drop-down list with checkboxes as an option in Google Sheets.

Step 1

First, select the range of cells where you want to add a drop-down list with checkboxes.

In this example, we’ll select the range of cells in column G.

Step 2

Next, click on the Data validation option found under the Data menu.

Step 3

In the Data Validation dialog pop-up, click on the drop-down list next to the Criteria label. Click on the option labeled ‘List of items’

This option will allow the user to specify a list of values to display in the drop-down list. Each value in the list will be separated by a comma.

Step 4

Next, we’ll add two special characters to the textbox seen below.

These special characters (☐,✅) will correspond to an unchecked and checked checkbox element.

Click on Save to apply the data validation settings to the selected range.

Step 5

Clicking on the drop-down arrow on each cell will reveal a drop-down list with checkbox options.

Step 6

This method gives users a good visual indicator of which entries in a list have been checked off.

However, a downside of this method is that the symbols are not equivalent to TRUE or FALSE.

It is still better to use an actual checkbox if you intend to use the value of the checkbox in other cells.


This guide should be everything you need to add checkboxes to dropdowns in Google Sheets.

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