Data Validation Drop Down List not Saving

Copper Contributor

I create a Data Validation Drop Down list in Excel, and it works while I have the workbook open, but if I save and close the Excel 97-2003 Worksheet file, then re-open the file, it does not work. When I click the down arrow nothing happens. It is like it does not save the connection to the table. Anyone know why this is happening?

7 Replies



From your text I cannot infer which version of Excel you are dealing with, knowing the operating system would also be a plus for a proposed solution.


Nevertheless, here ... some information about it.


- First define a name for the area

- and then use this name as the scope

- and then use this name in source / refers to


drop-down menu not visible



Thank you for your understanding and patience


Hope I was able to help you.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


* Kindly Mark and Vote this reply if it helps please, as it will be beneficial to more Community members reading here



Most probably compatibility issues. As I remember in 97-2003 data for data validation list can't be in another sheet, perhaps something else. It works as it is now at least from 2010.

This is a ridiculous waste of time. 2019 tried 2010 the drop-down list will not save. All the mentions are just additional waste of time. This function should be a very simple drop-down menu, this is not rocket science. This situation displays the lack of understanding of everyday users. We are all not advanced programmers, just people trying to conduct a very simple drop-down menu. This function does not work, it would be a great benefit. Stop wasting everyone's time and say IT DOES NOT WORK.  @G_Kealey 

I am having the very same issue with Office 365. Something with an update? This was working before but not today. I map the list and can use it to enter data but then after saving the file and reopening the map for the list is gone. 

I am having the same problem. I made a drop-down list in Excel (Office 365) before and it worked as intended. Now, for some unknown reason, it doesn't anymore. It shows the arrow but I can't click it to reveal the list.
I noticed that when you open the file and close it back. It will ask you if you want to save the changes despite just opening it. It seems like it has something to do with the data validation for the drop-down list.
Any luck on how to fix this issue?


In my original Excel file, my drop-down lists were in a separate worksheet. What worked for me: I moved the drop-down lists to the same worksheet and remapped the location. This is not as clean and a little more cumbersome when I need to modify the lists, but it's a go-around that is working for now.