Excel: How to Add Blank Option in Drop Down List

Often you may want to create a dropdown list in Excel with a blank option that you can select.

The following step-by-step example shows how to do so.

Step 1: Create Data

Suppose we have data in Excel on the number of points scored by a basketball player on a particular team and we would like to assign one of the following ratings to a player:

  • No rating (blank)
  • Good
  • OK
  • Bad

For example, we might have the following data:

Step 2: Define Dropdown List Options

Next, type a blank cell along with Good, OK and Bad in the range F1:F4:

These will be used in the next step as the potential options that can be selected in the dropdown list.

Step 3: Create Dropdown List with Blank Option

Next, select cell C2, then click the Data tab along the top ribbon, then click the Data Validation icon within the Data Tools group:

In the new box that appears, select List from the Allow dropdown menu, then select F1:F4 for the Source:

Excel drop down list with blank option

Once you click OK, a dropdown list will automatically be added to cell C2 with a blank, Good, OK and Bad as the potential options:

If you choose the first option from the drop down list, then the value in cell C2 will simply be blank.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common operations in Excel:

Excel: How to Create a Drop Down List with Color
Excel: How to Create Drop Down List from Another Sheet
Excel: How to AutoFill Using a Custom List

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