How To Use Conditional Data Validation in Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use conditional data validation in Google Sheets

How To Use Conditional Data Validation in Google Sheets

When working with data in Google Sheets, you may find yourself needing to create dependent drop-down lists. This means that the options in one drop-down list will be based on the selection in another drop-down list.

For example, you may have a list of countries in one column, and a list of cities in another column. If you select a country from the first drop-down list, you only want to see the cities from that country in the second drop-down list.

In this guide, we will show you how to create dependent drop-down lists in Google Sheets, using data validation and named ranges.

How To Create a Conditional Drop-down List in Google Sheets

Here’s how to create a conditional drop-down list in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Select the first list of choices you want to convert into a drop-down list.

Step 2

Select the textbox on the top-left corner of the spreadsheet. Type the name you want to give this named range.

Step 3

Create a named range for the other ranges you want to convert into a drop-down list.

Step 4

Select the location of the first-level drop-down menu. In the Data menu, click on the Data validation option.

Step 5

Select the List from a range option for the criteria section. The range should be the headers of both drop-down list ranges. Click Save to apply the data validation settings.

Step 6

Next, select an empty column. Use the INDIRECT function to output the named range specified in the cell you’ve added data validation to.

Step 7

Next, select the cell that will hold the second-level drop-down list. Select the Data validation option under Data.

Step 8

Next, set up the data validation such that the choices come from the range that holds the output of the INDIRECT function. Click Save to apply the data validation settings.

Step 9

You should now have a dependent drop-down list in Google Sheets.

Step 10

Choosing a different option in the first drop-down list will change the list of choices on the second drop-down list.

Summary

This guide should be everything you need to use conditional data validation in Google Sheets.

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