How to Remove Drop Down Boxes on Excel

by Anne Hirsh

Drop-down lists can help you regulate the information people enter into an Excel spreadsheet, but selecting from a list can limit your options. If you have drop-down list boxes that you no longer need, you can easily delete them without deleting the data that is the source of the list, just in case you want to add them back later. Save your spreadsheet before you make any changes so you have a clean copy to return to if you make a mistake.

Step 1

Click inside the cell that has a drop-down list you want to delete. Do not double-click, as this tells Excel that you are editing rather than selecting the cell. You cannot access the appropriate menu while editing a cell.

Step 2

Click the "Data" tab on the Office Ribbon and select "Data validation," which is in the "Data tools" area near the right side of the screen.

Step 3

Select "Settings" from the tabs at the top of the dialog box that opens.

Click "Clear all," and then click "OK." Excel will delete your drop-down list. Repeat the process for each cell with a drop-down selection you want to remove.


  • If you have multiple drop-down lists that use the exact same settings, you can delete the drop-downs from all cells at once by selecting "Apply these changes to all other cells with the same settings" before you click "OK."


About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

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