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How to set a default value in data validation drop-down list in Excel?

Set a default value in data validation drop-down list helps others to identify the drop-down list cells easily at a glance in a worksheet. This article provides a VBA method to set a default value in data validation drop-down list in details.

Set a default value in data validation drop-down list with VBA code

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Set a default value in data validation drop-down list with VBA code

As below screenshot, supposing all cells in range B2:C7 contain drop-down list, and you want to set a default value (says - Choose from the list -) in these drop-down list before choosing values from them. You can try the following VBA code.

1. Right click the sheet tab with the drop-down lists you need to set a default value, then click View Code from the menu.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, copy and paste the following VBA code into the Code window.

VBA code: set a default value in data validation drop-down list

Sub DropDownListToDefault()
    Dim xCell As Range
    Dim xRg As Range
    Dim xAcCell As Range
    Dim xScreen As Boolean
    On Error Resume Next
    Set xAcCell = Application.ActiveCell
    Set xRg = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeAllValidation)
    If xRg Is Nothing Then
        MsgBox "No data validation drop-down lists in current worksheet", vbInformation, "Kutools for Excel"
        Exit Sub
    End If
    xScreen = Application.ScreenUpdating
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    For Each xCell In xRg
        If xCell.Validation.Type = 3 Then
            If xCell.Value = "" Then xCell.Value = "'- Choose from the list -"
        End If
    Application.ScreenUpdating = xScreen
End Sub

Note: you can change the default value in the VBA code to the one you need.

6. Press the F5 key to run the code. You can see the default values are added to all drop-down list cells as below screenshot shown.


1. The default value will disappear after selecting value in the drop-down list.

2. If there has no data validation drop-down lists in current worksheet, you will get the below prompt box.

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    Martin Goodwin · 5 months ago
    Love the code about 'VBA code: set a default value in data validation drop-down list', how do I use the same code for just one column with one dropdown?