I want to create a google spreadsheet where I have 2 columns involved.

In my A column, I have data and column B has a drop-down list. What I want to do is disable column B unless column A has a value.

Column A1 has value Column B1 is enabled
Column A2 has no value Column B2 is disabled
and so on

I created a custom formula:

= isblank(A1)

Image is:

enter image description here

  • What do you mean by disable a cell? Does your data validation works? Is your spreadsheet shared? Commented May 29, 2018 at 11:30
  • I will have to share the spread sheet to other. By disable I mean I cant be changed/edited..I guess like the disabled button @Rubén
    – guradio
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 21:34
  • 1
    – TheMaster
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 21:39

2 Answers 2


all you need is to create a dynamic list of choices by using IF and QUERY

  • set Data validation for cell B1 with criteria List from a range to be: Sheet1!E:E
  • then also chose Reject input and hit Save button
  • in column D put all the stuff you need to have in your B1 dropdown option (this can be also in different sheet or in a hidden column)
  • paste this into E1 cell: =IF(A1="";;QUERY(D1:D;"select D";0))
  • and now type something in cell A1

basically if cell A1 is empty B1 is "blocked" with "emptyness"

see sheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/


On Google Sheets cells can't be disabled for editors in the same way that buttons are disabled on web page but they can be protected. In order to do this automatically you should use a script triggered by an edit installable trigger or to use an add-on.

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  • I will check these as soon as I can.
    – guradio
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 21:56

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