Google Sheets Date Picker – An Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Last updated January 16, 2022

Prefer watching a video tutorial? Watch how to insert Google Sheets date picker below:

Spreadsheet software like Google Sheets can be quite 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.

In this tutorial we will show you how to insert a Google Sheets date picker, to allow your user to select their required date from a popup calendar.

Why Insert a Date Picker in Google Sheets?

There are many benefits to using a date picker in Google Sheets:

  • 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 whenlearning how to insert 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 their 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 need to insert a valid date in the Google Sheets cell.

Google sheets date picker

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

Dropdown menu in google sheets

How to Insert a Date Picker in Google Sheets

One way to make a popup 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. This will result in a popup calendar appearing just next to the cell, allowing you to pick your required date.

However, we would usually prefer to have a date picker 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, 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).

For this, we can use the Google Sheets Data validation feature, as follows:

  1. Click on the cell or range of cells for which you want to enable the popup calendar or date picker.
  2. From the ‘Data’ menu, navigate to ‘Data validation’.
    Google sheets date drop down menu
  3. This will open the ‘Data validation’ window.
    Data validation
  4. Click on the dropdown arrow next to ‘Criteria:’ and select the ‘Date’ option from the dropdown list.
Data validation date options in google sheets

     5. For the ‘On invalid data:’ field, select the radio button for ‘Reject input’.

Reject Input option in date picker on google sheets

     6. Click Save.

Note: You can add a popup note to the cell telling the user to double click on the cell to see the calendar.

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

Date picker in google sheets

Common Mistakes Working With Date Picker in Google Sheets

  • Having Show warning instead of Reject input selected. This means you’ll still be able to enter incorrect dates
  • Single clicking instead of double-clicking a cell
  • Not having the cell format set to dates. You can change that by navigating to Format->Number->Date

Google Spreadsheet Date Picker FAQ

How Do I Insert a Date Picker in Google Sheets?

All you have to do is double click on a cell with the format set to dates. You can also use Data validation by navigating to Data>Data validation, then changing the Criteria to Date and On invalid data to Reject input.

How Do I Change 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 the change of a cell or can be set to auto-update by time. You can also use the TODAY function to set easy timestamps.

How Do I Set Up My 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 “between” then set the parameters in the two new boxes that appear.
Date picker range validation

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have shown you how to insert a Google Sheets date picker when you have a valid date already entered in a cell.

We also showed you how to use Data validation to ensure that certain cells always display the date picker whenever the user double clicks on the cell.

We hope this simple tutorial was helpful for you.

Nahid

Nahid

Nahid Akhter is a writer, programmer, and online course content creator. She has an MS in Computer Science and has been in the education line for more than 14 years. Her specialization is in programming and Tech-writing, and her areas of interest include Office productivity, Artificial Intelligence, and Web design and development.