removing an inadvertent drop-down menu from an Excel spreadsheet.

Copper Contributor

Inadvertently, when using Excel (home based) usually when cutting and pasting, a drop-down menu appears, and is resistant to removal. There is no step backwards available. does not respond to cutting or deleting. when going to suggested data validation/settings/Clear all there is no response, except that the option Data Valuation is greyed out.  I have three questions

1. Why does this drop-down menu appear?

2. Is there a short cut similar to Ctrl-V and Ctrl-C which triggers it.

3. How can I get rid of it.

11 Replies


The behavior you're describing sounds like a data validation drop-down list, which is a feature in Excel that allows users to select a value from a predefined list. Here are some answers to your questions:

  1. Why does this drop-down menu appear?
    • The drop-down menu appears because a data validation rule has been applied to the cell or cells in question. Data validation is commonly used to control the type of data that can be entered into a cell, such as selecting from a list, entering a date, or restricting values to a certain range.
  2. Is there a shortcut similar to Ctrl-V and Ctrl-C which triggers it?
    • There isn't a specific shortcut key that triggers the appearance of a data validation drop-down list. However, if you have been copying and pasting cells that contain data validation, it's possible that the validation settings are being copied along with the cell contents, causing the drop-down list to appear in the pasted cells.
  3. How can I get rid of it?
    • To remove the data validation drop-down list from a cell or range of cells:
      • Select the cell or range of cells containing the drop-down list.
      • Go to the Data tab in the Excel ribbon.
      • Click on Data Validation in the Data Tools group.
      • In the Data Validation dialog box, go to the Settings tab.
      • In the Allow dropdown menu, select "Any Value" to remove the data validation rule altogether, or choose another option based on your requirements.
      • Click OK to apply the changes.
    • If you find that the option to clear data validation is grayed out, it's possible that the cells in question are locked. You may need to unlock the cells before you can modify the data validation settings.
    • The drop-down list may also be linked to named ranges or formulas, as you mentioned. In such cases, you may need to check the Named Manager (Formulas tab > Name Manager) to see if there are any named ranges associated with the drop-down list and remove them if necessary. The text was created with the help of AI.

By following these steps, you should be able to remove the inadvertent drop-down menu from your Excel spreadsheet. If the issue persists, send more information about your specific situation.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.


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@Detlef Lewin 


Thanks, Detlef Lewin, It is only the drop-down list that inadvertently appears and refuses to go away, I have sent copies of screen dumps etc with my response to the previous comments.



 I have sent copies of screen dumps etc with my response to the previous comments.

Not in this forum.


I can't see where to download files on this forum Detlef.
Not too sure where the first lot went. My correspondence started off with NIkolinoD's comments


There is no reply from you to @NikolinoDE .

Below the message editor is a place drag and drop files. But if you are new to MTC you might not have sufficient rights for upload. Instead provide a shared link (OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, ...).


@Detlef Lewin . The drop-down menu (see attached drop-down menu, no cell address.png) appears inadvertently, and infrequently - perhaps 4 times in the last year. I have tried deleting it, cutting it, changing the data validation to no effect. I can work around it, but it affronts me that it puts itself down where it wants, where it wants and then won't leave, spoiling the appearance of my spreadsheet! 

I use a PC with the latest version of Windows 10. I am retired so just a home user. In this instance I am using it to supplement my Indonesian language studies. I do have an excel file, an xlsm which could give a live view of the problem, but it is not accepted as a file type here.

system information April 3 2024.PNG

drop-down menu, no cell address.PNG


That is not a drop down menu. I looks like some form control element.


Detlef, Lewin, Not too sure what that means. Is there anyway to get rid of it?


It should be possible to remove it but I don't have experience with form controls.

Wait for someone with more expertise.


Thanks for your help to this stage, Detlef Lewin