Add or remove items from a drop-down list

After you create a drop-down list, you might want to add more items or delete items. In this article, we'll show you how to do that depending on how the list was created.

Edit a drop-down list that's based on an Excel Table

If you set up your list source as an Excel table, then all you need to do is add or remove items from the list, and Excel will automatically update any associated drop-downs for you.

Data Validation source selection
  • To add an item, go to the end of the list and type the new item.

  • To remove an item, press Delete.

    Tip: If the item you want to delete is somewhere in the middle of your list, right-click its cell, click Delete, and then click OK to shift the cells up.

  1. Select the worksheet that has the named range for your drop-down list.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To add an item, go to the end of the list and type the new item.

    • To remove an item, press Delete.

      Tip: If the item you want to delete is somewhere in the middle of your list, right-click its cell, click Delete, and then click OK to shift the cells up.

  3. Go to Formulas > Name Manager.

  4. In the Name Manager box, click the named range you want to update.

    Name Manager
  5. Click in the Refers to box, and then on your worksheet select all of the cells that contain the entries for your drop-down list.

  6. Click Close, and then click Yes to save your changes.

Tip: If you don't know what a named range is named, you can select the range and look for its name in the Name Box. To locate a named range, see Find named ranges.

Named range selected with name in the Address box

  1. Select the worksheet that has the data for your drop-down list.

  2. Do any of the following:

    • To add an item, go to the end of the list and type the new item.

    • To remove an item, click Delete.

      Tip: If the item you want to delete is somewhere in the middle of your list, right-click its cell, click Delete, and then click OK to shift the cells up.

  3. On the worksheet where you applied the drop-down list, select a cell that has the drop-down list.

  4. Go to Data > Data Validation.

  5. On the Settings tab, click in the Source box, and then on the worksheet that has the entries for your drop-down list, select all of the cells containing those entries. You'll see the list range in the Source box change as you select.

    Drop-Down list Source is a range

  6. To update all cells that have the same drop-down list applied, check the Apply these changes to all other cells with the same settings box.

  1. On the worksheet where you applied the drop-down list, select a cell that has the drop-down list.

  2. Go to Data > Data Validation.

  3. On the Settings tab, click in the Source box, and then change your list items as needed. Each item should be separated by a comma, with no spaces in between like this: Yes,No,Maybe.

    Drop-down list Source is manually entered
  4. To update all cells that have the same drop-down list applied, check the Apply these changes to all other cells with the same settings box.

After you update a drop-down list, make sure it works the way you want. For example, check to see if the cell is wide enough to show your updated entries.

If the list of entries for your drop-down list is on another worksheet and you want to prevent users from seeing it or making changes, consider hiding and protecting that worksheet. For more information about how to protect a worksheet, see Lock cells to protect them.

If you want to delete your drop-down box, see Remove a drop-down list.

To see a video about how to work with drop-down lists, see Create and manage drop-down lists.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

See Also

Create a drop-down list

Apply Data Validation to cells

Video: Create and manage drop-down lists

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