Woman using laptop in modern office.

Speed up data entry and validation with AutoComplete for dropdown lists in Excel for Windows

Feedback in action
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LinkedIn

Hey, Office Insiders! My name is Prash Shirolkar, and I’m a Program Manager on the Excel team. We’ve heard from many of you that you’d love the ability to use AutoComplete for dropdown lists to make data entry and validation faster and easier. We’re excited to announce that this capability is finally here in Excel for Windows!

AutoComplete for dropdown lists

Entering data in Excel can sometimes be a slow and painful task. Dropdown lists are one way to speed up this process, but scrolling through long lists is no fun either. So we’ve enabled AutoComplete for dropdown lists in Excel. Now, the app automatically compares the text you type in a cell against all items in the list, then displays only the items that match.

The feature’s algorithm can match text from anywhere in the list item—the start, middle, or end of the text string. The algorithm also automatically excludes blank items from the validation list.

This feature makes filling in forms and other types of content faster and more efficient. You’ll spend less time scrolling through lists, dealing with data validation errors, or writing complex code to handle this task.

GIF showing how AutoComplete works when employing dropdown lists in Excel.(Photos courtesy of NASA)

How it works

Ready to give AutoComplete for dropdown lists a try?

  1. Open a worksheet in Excel and create a dropdown list (see instructions).
  2. Enter text in a cell that matches one of the list items. Notice how the list updates as you type to show matching entries.
  3. Choose the entry you want in the list or press Enter to fill the cell.


The AutoComplete for dropdown lists feature is rolling out to Office Insiders running Beta Channel Version 2202 (Build 14907.20000) or later.

Don’t have it yet? It’s probably us, not you.

Features are released over some time to ensure things are working smoothly. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as an Insider, have had the opportunity to try it.


We hope you love this feature! To submit feedback about it, just click Help > Feedback in Excel.

Learn what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. We’re excited to hear from you!

Sign up for the Office Insider newsletter and get the latest information about Insider features in your inbox once a month!