This Value Doesn’t Match Data Validation: How to Troubleshoot

Have you ever come across an error message that says, "this value doesn’t match the data validation"? It can be frustrating, but don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as it seems. In a nutshell, it means that the data you are trying to enter into a cell does not comply with the rules that have been set for that cell. To fix this, you need to either change the data you are entering or adjust the validation rules for that cell. Let’s dive into how you can do that.

Step by Step Tutorial: Fixing Data Validation Errors

Before we get into the steps, it’s important to understand that data validation is a feature in spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel that helps you control the type of data or the values that users enter into a cell. Now, here’s how to fix the "this value doesn’t match the data validation" error:

Step 1: Identify the Problematic Cell

Locate the cell that is causing the data validation error.

Once you’ve identified the cell, take a closer look at the data you are trying to enter. Is it text when it should be a number? Is it a date that’s out of range? Understanding the nature of the error will help you correct it swiftly.

Step 2: Check the Data Validation Rules

Go to the data validation settings for the problematic cell to see what rules have been set.

In Excel, you can do this by selecting the cell, then going to Data > Data Validation. A dialog box will appear showing the current validation criteria. Make note of these criteria as you’ll need to match them or change them.

Step 3: Modify Your Data or the Validation Rules

Either change the data you are entering to match the validation rules or modify the validation rules to accommodate your data.

If the data you’re entering is correct and you need to change the validation rules, simply adjust the settings in the data validation dialog box. For example, if the cell is only supposed to accept dates before today, but you need to enter a future date, you would adjust the rule to accept the new range of dates.

Step 4: Re-enter Your Data

After making the necessary adjustments, try entering your data again.

If you’ve followed the previous steps correctly, your data should now be accepted without any error messages. If you’re still experiencing issues, double-check the validation rules and the data you’re entering.

Once you’ve successfully entered your data without triggering the data validation error, you can continue working on your spreadsheet without any further interruptions. Remember, data validation is there to help maintain accuracy and consistency in your data, so it’s a useful feature to master.

Tips for Avoiding Data Validation Errors

Handling data validation errors can be a smooth process if you keep a few key tips in mind:

  • Familiarize yourself with common data validation rules such as date ranges, number ranges, and list-based validations.
  • Always double-check your data before entering it to avoid typos or formatting issues.
  • Use drop-down lists when possible to limit the chance of entering invalid data.
  • Keep your data validation rules updated to reflect any changes in your data requirements.
  • When working with others, make sure everyone understands the validation rules to prevent errors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is data validation?

Data validation is a feature that allows you to control the type of data or values users can enter into a cell in programs like Excel.

Why am I getting a data validation error?

You are receiving this error because the data you are trying to input does not meet the criteria set by the validation rules for that particular cell.

Can I turn off data validation?

Yes, you can disable data validation by clearing the validation rules from the cell or range of cells.

How do I create a drop-down list for data validation?

In Excel, you can create a drop-down list by going to Data > Data Validation, choosing "List" from the Allow menu, and specifying the source for your list.

What should I do if I keep getting validation errors?

If you frequently encounter validation errors, consider reviewing and simplifying your validation rules, or provide clear instructions for data entry to users.


  1. Identify the cell with the data validation error.
  2. Check the data validation rules for that cell.
  3. Modify your data or the validation rules as necessary.
  4. Re-enter your data and test if the error is resolved.


Data validation is a crucial feature for anyone who works with data—it helps maintain the integrity and accuracy of your dataset. Encountering the "this value doesn’t match the data validation" error can be a speed bump, but it’s easily overcome with a bit of troubleshooting. Whether you need to adjust the data you’re entering or tweak the validation rules themselves, the steps outlined above should guide you towards a solution. And remember, keeping your validation rules clear, consistent, and up-to-date will save you a lot of headaches in the future. If you’re looking to learn more about data validation or need further assistance, plenty of online resources and communities are available to help you master this feature.