Validate cell data

When you create worksheets that will be used by others, it’s important to make sure they can only enter valid data. Use Excel’s data validation features to make rules to restrict the type of data or values that others can enter into a cell.

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

To validate cell data, see the following steps:

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to create a rule for.

  2. Select Data >Data Validation.
    Data validation

  3. On the Settings tab, under Allow, select an option:

    • Whole Number - to restrict the column to accept only whole numbers.

    • Decimal - to accept decimal numbers.

    • List - to pick data from the drop-down list.

    • Date - to restrict the cell to accept only date.

    • Time - to restrict the cell to accept only time.

    • Text Length - to restrict the length of the text.

    • Custom – for custom formula.

  4. Under Data, select a condition:

    • between

    • not between

    • equal to

    • not equal to

    • greater than

    • less than

    • greater than or equal to

    • less than or equal to

  5. On the Settings tab, under Allow, select an option:

  6. Set the other required values, based on what you chose for Allow and Data.
    For example, if you select between, then select the Minimum: and Maximum: values for the cell(s).

  7. Select the Ignore blank checkbox if you want to ignore blank spaces.

  8. If you want to add a Title and message for your rule, select the Input Message tab, and then type a title and input message.

  9. Select the Show input message when cell is selected checkbox to display the message when the user selects or hovers over the selected cell(s).

  10. Select OK.

    Now, if the user tries to enter a value that is not valid, a pop-up appears with the message, “This value doesn’t match the data validation restrictions for this cell.”

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

Apply data validation to cells

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×