How to Remove Drop Down List in Excel: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Removing a dropdown list in Excel is simple. Go to the cell with the dropdown, then click on "Data Validation" under the Data tab. In the dialog box that appears, choose "Clear All" and hit OK. That’s it! The dropdown list will be gone.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Remove Drop Down List in Excel

Removing a dropdown list in Excel can help clean up your spreadsheet and make it easier to manage. Follow these steps to get the job done.

Step 1: Select the Cell or Range

Highlight the cell or range of cells containing the dropdown list.

Ensuring you have the correct cell or cells selected is crucial because the data validation settings you are about to change will apply only to those cells.

Step 2: Click on the "Data" Tab

Navigate to the "Data" tab in Excel’s ribbon.

The "Data" tab contains various tools for managing your spreadsheet data, including data validation settings.

Step 3: Open "Data Validation" Dialog

Click on the "Data Validation" button in the "Data Tools" group.

This button opens a dialog box where you can configure or remove data validation settings.

Step 4: Choose "Clear All"

In the "Data Validation" dialog box, click the "Clear All" button.

The "Clear All" button removes the current data validation settings, including any dropdown lists.

Step 5: Click OK

Hit the OK button to apply the changes.

Once you click OK, the dropdown list will be removed from the selected cell or range of cells.

After completing these steps, you will have successfully removed the dropdown list from your Excel spreadsheet.

Tips for How to Remove Drop Down List in Excel

  • Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A to select the entire worksheet before removing multiple dropdown lists.
  • Always double-check you have the correct cells selected to avoid removing validation from the wrong cells.
  • Consider saving a backup copy of your workbook before making significant changes.
  • If you just want to edit the dropdown list, you can modify the list in the same "Data Validation" dialog box.
  • Use the Name Manager to clean up named ranges if they were used in your dropdown list.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to the data in the cell after removing the dropdown list?

The existing data in the cell will remain unchanged after you remove the dropdown list.

Can I undo the removal of a dropdown list?

Yes, you can use the Undo feature (Ctrl + Z) immediately after removing the dropdown list to restore it.

Do I need special permissions to remove a dropdown list?

No, any user with editing permissions for the Excel sheet can remove a dropdown list.

Will removing the dropdown list affect any formulas?

Removing the dropdown list won’t affect formulas; however, be cautious if your formulas depend on specific dropdown selections.

Can I remove multiple dropdown lists at once?

Yes, you can select a range of cells that include multiple dropdown lists and remove them all at once using the same steps.


  1. Select the Cell or Range
  2. Click on the "Data" Tab
  3. Open "Data Validation" Dialog
  4. Choose "Clear All"
  5. Click OK


Removing a dropdown list in Excel is a breeze once you know the steps. You start by selecting the cell or cells with the dropdown list, then navigate to the Data tab and open the Data Validation dialog. From there, a quick click of the "Clear All" button followed by OK will remove the dropdown list for good.

For those who frequently manage large spreadsheets, knowing how to remove a dropdown list can streamline your work and reduce errors. Whether you’re cleaning up an old sheet or just making some adjustments, this skill will undoubtedly come in handy. Plus, the tips section provided will give you a few extra pointers to ensure you do it smoothly and efficiently.

So go ahead, open up your Excel spreadsheet, and give it a try. Once you’ve mastered this simple task, you’ll find managing your data even easier. If you want to delve deeper into Excel’s features, there’s a wealth of information out there, from conditional formatting to pivot tables. Happy Excel-ing!