How to Copy Data Validation in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on October 19, 2022

This tutorial demonstrates how to copy data validation in Excel and Google Sheets.


DataValidationCopy intro


Copy Existing Data Validation to New Range

If you have a range of cells with existing data validation, you can copy the data validation rule to another range with the Paste Special command.

In the example below, the highlighted cells contain a data validation rule that only allows the user to enter a maximum value of 40 in the validation range.


DataValidationCopy existing


  1. To copy the data validation settings to a new range of cells, first highlight a cell that contains the existing data validation, and then click Copy.


DataValidationCopy copy


  1. Select the target range – the range you wish to copy the data validation rule to.


DataValidationCopy selectrange


  1. In the Ribbon, select Home > Clipboard > Paste > Paste Special.


DataValidationCopy pastespecial


  1. Click on Validation, and then click OK.


DataValidationCopy pastevalidation


The existing data validation rule is pasted to the highlighted cells.


DataValidationCopy validationpasted


Copy Data Validation in Google Sheets

In the example below, the highlighted cell already contains a data validation rule restricting the input in the cell to between 1 and 40.


DataValidationCopy gs paste existing


  1. Highlight the cell that contains the data validation rule, and then, in the Menu, select Edit > Copy.


DataValidationCopy gs paste copy


  1. Select the range of cells where you wish the data validation to be copied to, and then, in the Menu, select Edit > Paste special > Data validation only.


vDataValidationCopy-gs paste validation


  1. The validation rule is copied to the destination cells. To test the rule, type an invalid number into one of the cells. You get a red triangle on the cell and an error message.


DataValidationCopy gs invalid value

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