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How to prevent copy and paste over cell with drop down list in Excel?

For a cell with data validation drop down list, when copy content from another cell and paste to it, the drop down list will be gone and replaced with the new pasting content. In some cases, you want to prevent copy and paste other content over the cell with drop down list, what would you do to deal with it? In this article, you will get a VBA method of dealing with this problem.

Prevent copy and paste over cell with drop down list in Excel


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arrow blue right bubble Prevent copy and paste over cell with drop down list in Excel


1. Open the worksheet with the drop down list cell you want to prevent copy and paste.

2. Press Alt + F11 keys simultaneously to open the Microsoft Visual Basic Applications window.

3. In the Microsoft Visual Basic Applications window, double click the current worksheet name in the left pane, then copy and paste the below VBA code into the Code editor. See screenshot:

VBA code: Prevent copy and paste over cell with drop down list

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
	Dim xValue As String
	Dim xCheck1 As String
	Dim xCheck2 As String
	If Target.Count > 1 Then
		Exit Sub
		End If
		Application.EnableEvents = False
		xValue                   = Target.Value
		On Error Resume Next
		xCheck1                  = Target.Validation.InCellDropdown
		On Error GoTo 0
		Application.Undo
		On Error Resume Next
		xCheck2 = Target.Validation.InCellDropdown
		On Error GoTo 0
		If xCheck1 = xCheck2 Then
			Target = xValue
		Else
			MsgBox "No pasting allowed!"
		End If
		Application.EnableEvents = True
	End Sub

4. Press Alt + Q keys to exit the Microsoft Visual Basic Applications window.

5. When you paste content to a cell with drop down list, a dialog box will pop up to remind you the pasting is no allowed. See screenshot:

Note: This VBA just work in single cell pasting. If you copy and paste in multiple cells, it won’t work.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Eva · 1 years ago
    I works BUT after you put the code you cannot UNDO anything. Not a single step back is allowed.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dilip · 1 years ago
    No, I did not figure it out. I didn't try to resolve after a while.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    arvind raj · 1 years ago
    did you manage to resolve the issue of copying and pasting into multiple cells? Thanks in advance!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Amit Jain · 1 years ago
    Hi Dilip,

    are you able to fix the issue of allowing data using paste values
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Amit Jain · 1 years ago
    Hi Dilip,

    are you able to fix the issue of allowing data using paste values..i am also facing the same issue..help me on this please