A 2024 Guide to Google Sheets Date Picker

Fact Checked By Cindy Wong

Spreadsheet software like Google Sheets can be pretty sensitive to differences in date formats, so it’s always better to pick the date from a real-time calendar rather than typing it out.

To add a date picker in Google Sheets, navigate to the “Data Validation” menu to ensure the criteria are set to ‘Is valid date,’ and reject invalid inputs. Below, I’ll include screenshots and instructions that show each step of the process. In the end, you’ll be able to select a date from a popup calendar in your workbook.

How To Insert a Date Picker in Google Sheets

One way to make a pop-up calendar or date picker appear instantly is to type a date into a cell in the correct date format and then double-click on the cell. You can also alter how you’d like to use the number formatting. This will result in a pop-up calendar appearing just next to the cell, allowing you to pick your required date.

However, I usually prefer a Google Sheets date picker to appear in a date cell, even if it is blank. For example, you might need a user to enter a start date and end date using the date picker Google Sheets to ensure they enter a valid date in the correct format (say, if you’re looking to calculate the number of days between two dates).

Download the Example Spreadsheet

If you want to follow along, please feel free to make a copy of my spreadsheet template. Click here to make the copy. That makes it easy for you to see the layout as I go step-by-step through my guide. Note that I also have a guide on how to change the date format.

Google Sheets date picker example

Step-by-Step Instructions

For how to add a date picker in Google Sheets, we can use the Google Sheets Data validation feature, as follows:

  1. Click on the cell or range of cells you want to enable the popup calendar or date picker.
  2. From the Datamenu, navigate to ‘Data validation.’
    Data validation option in Google Sheets
  3. This will open the ‘Data validation’ side window. Click ‘Add Rule.’
    How to Add rule in Google Sheets
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow next to ‘Criteria’ and select the ‘Is valid date’ option from the drop-down list.
Criteria dropdown menu in Google Sheets

5. For the ‘If the data is invalid’ field, select the radio button for the ‘Reject the input’ option.

Reject the input selection

6. Click ‘Done.’

Note: You can add a pop-up note to the cell telling the user to double-click on the cell to see the calendar. Now, you can see the date picker by double-clicking the cell(s) to which you had added the data validation.

Now, you can see the date picker by double-clicking the cell(s) to which you had added the data validation.

Data validation selected GIF

If any value other than a date is input in the cell, Google Sheets will return a prompt.

Google Sheets error prompt GIF

Video Guide on the Calendar Dropdown

Here’s a guide that shows exactly how to add one of these date-picker dropdowns. You can also watch it on my YouTube channel.

Set Up a Date Picker So That Only Dates in a Certain Range Are Valid

In the ‘Data validation’ menu, change the drop-down menu that defaults to ‘Is valid date’ to the modifier you want your dates to adhere to, such as ‘Date is between.’

Then, set the parameters in the two new boxes that appear. This will have Google Sheets choose a date from the calendar between the specified dates.

Data validation rules in Google Sheets

Common Mistakes Working With the Google Sheets Date Picker

There are some common mistakes that people make when learning how to add date selection in Google Sheets, including:

  • The wrong selection, such as ‘Show a warning,’ is selected instead of ‘Reject the input.’ This means you can enter incorrect dates by single-clicking instead of double-clicking a cell.
Advanced options selection.
  • The wrong cell and date format. If so, you can change the date format by navigating to ‘Format’ > ‘Number’ > ‘Date.’
Number and Date dropdown options in Google Sheets.

How To Insert a Calendar in Google Sheets

Unfortunately, other than the Google Sheets date picker, there is no way to insert a calendar in the free version of Google Sheets. However, you can access the standard annual calendar from the Google Sheets template library and copy the yearly or monthly pages into your other spreadsheets.

Here’s how:

Google template library
  1. Open the Annual calendar template.
Copy to option in Google template
  1. Click the small arrow at the bottom of the page on the desired month or the yearly calendar.
  2. Select ‘Copy to’ and choose whether you want it to go into a new or an existing spreadsheet.

You can do this with any other calendar spreadsheet. Additionally, you can check out some of our Google Sheets calendar templates and select a different template according to your needs.

You can use a timeline instead if you have the enterprise version of Google Sheets. To do this, navigate to ‘View’ > ‘Timeline.’

Google Spreadsheet Date Picker FAQ

Here are some of the questions I hear about the date picker. If you have any other questions, please ask in the comments. Thanks!

Why Insert a Date Picker in Google Sheets?

There are many benefits to using the Google Sheets date picker, such as:

  • It helps ensure that the date entered in a given cell is valid and in the correct format.
  • It’s one of the easiest methods for inserting a calendar in Google Sheets.
  • It lets the user check the day of the week before finally entering the date.
  • It lets the user see if the date falls on a weekday or weekend.
  • The user can check how many days the month contains or count how many days after the required date the month ends.

When Does the Google Sheets Date Drop-Down Appear?

The Google Sheets calendar drop-down appears whenever the user double-clicks on a cell containing a date value. However, for this to work, you must insert a valid date in the Google Sheets cell.

Google sheets date picker

Alternatively, you can type any number in a cell, convert the cell to ‘Date’ format (by navigating to ‘Format’ > ‘Number’ > ‘Date,’ and then double-click on the cell. This will result in the date picker appearing next to the formatted cell while creating a Google Sheets calendar in the cell.

The Number and Date dropdown menu in Google Sheets

Can I Insert a Calendar in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can insert a calendar in Google Sheets differently depending on how you want to use it. The easiest way is to insert a Google Sheets calendar drop-down through data validation. You must navigate to the ‘Data validation’ menu, ensure the criteria is set to ‘Is valid date,’ and reject invalid inputs.

How Do I Get the Date Picker Dropdown Menu?

You can get the date picker dropdown menu by creating one through data validation. This will have Google Sheets insert a date picker in your chosen cell.

How Do I Insert Date Picker in Google Sheets?

All you have to do is double-click on a cell with the format set to dates, and you can use Google Sheets to select the date from the calendar. You can also use ‘Data validation’ by navigating to ‘Data’ > ‘Data validation,’ then change the ‘Criteria’ to ‘Date’ and the ‘On invalid data’ to ‘Reject input.’

How Do I Change the Date Picker Format in Google Sheets?

Navigate to ‘Format’ > ‘Number’ > ‘Date’ and change your default settings. This will allow you to change the order of your dates.

How Do I Automatically Update the Date in Google Sheets When a Cell Is Updated?

Instead of entering a date with the date picker, you can use the NOW function. By default, it changes by changing a cell or can be set to auto-update by time. You can also use the TODAY function to set easy timestamps.


In this tutorial, we have shown you how to insert a Google Sheets date selector when a valid date has already been entered in a cell. I have also shown you how to use ‘Data validation to ensure that specific cells are displayed in the Google Sheets date picker whenever the user double-clicks on the cell. I hope this simple tutorial was helpful for you. Feel free to comment below if I have missed anything!


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