Fixing Data Validation Errors in Excel: ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ Solutions

Fixing data validation errors in Excel can be a headache, especially when you encounter the dreaded ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ error. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems. With a few simple steps, you can resolve this issue and get back to analyzing your data in no time. All you need to do is locate the error, understand the validation criteria, and make the necessary adjustments to your data. After reading this quick overview, you’ll have a better idea of how to tackle this common Excel problem.

Step by Step Tutorial: Fixing Data Validation Errors in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. Data validation in Excel is a way to control the type of data that is entered into a cell. When you get a ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ error, it means the data you’re trying to enter doesn’t meet the criteria set for that cell. We’re going to fix this by adjusting either the criteria or the data itself.

Step 1: Identify the Cell with the Error

Locate the cell that’s giving you the ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ error.

When you see this error, it usually comes with a small triangle in the top right corner of the cell. This is Excel’s way of flagging an issue for you to resolve. Click on the cell to see what the specific validation criteria are.

Step 2: Check the Data Validation Settings

Right-click on the cell, select ‘Data Validation,’ and review the criteria set.

In the Data Validation dialog box, you’ll see settings like ‘Allow,’ ‘Data,’ and ‘Input Message.’ These settings determine what kind of data is acceptable for that cell. Make sure you understand the criteria before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Correct the Data or Validation Criteria

Adjust the data in the cell to meet the criteria, or change the criteria to match the data you need to enter.

If the data you’re trying to enter should be valid, you might need to adjust the validation criteria. On the other hand, if the criteria are correct, you’ll need to change the data in the cell to meet these requirements.

After completing the above steps, the ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ error should be resolved. Your data will now comply with the validation criteria, and you can continue working without any further interruptions.

Tips: Preventing Data Validation Errors in Excel

  • Double-check your data before entering it into a cell with validation criteria.
  • Use clear and concise validation messages to guide users on what data is acceptable.
  • Regularly review and update your validation criteria to ensure they’re still relevant.
  • Consider using dropdown lists in cells to limit the chances of validation errors.
  • Test your data validation settings thoroughly to catch any potential issues early.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is data validation in Excel?

Data validation in Excel is a feature that allows you to set specific criteria for what data can be entered into a cell, such as numbers only, a date range, or a list of predefined options.

Can I use formulas in data validation criteria?

Yes, you can use formulas in data validation criteria to create more complex rules for what data is considered valid.

How do I copy data validation settings to other cells?

To copy data validation settings, select the cell with the desired settings, click ‘Copy,’ select the target cells, and then choose ‘Paste Special’ followed by ‘Validation.’

What should I do if I keep getting validation errors?

If you’re frequently encountering validation errors, consider revising your validation criteria to ensure they’re not too restrictive or reviewing the data you’re entering for accuracy.

Can I disable data validation in Excel?

You can disable data validation by selecting the cells with validation, going to ‘Data Validation,’ and choosing ‘Clear All.’


  1. Identify the Cell with the Error
  2. Check the Data Validation Settings
  3. Correct the Data or Validation Criteria


So there you have it, a step-by-step guide to fixing ‘This Value Doesn’t Match’ data validation errors in Excel. Although it might seem daunting at first, understanding how data validation works and knowing how to adjust it can save you a lot of time and frustration. Remember to double-check your data and validation settings, and don’t be afraid to make changes if something isn’t working right. With practice, you’ll become a pro at navigating Excel’s data validation features. If you’re interested in learning more about Excel and how to use its powerful tools effectively, plenty of resources are available online. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, don’t let those pesky validation errors get you down. Happy Excel-ing!