I will preface my question because I do not know Salesforce well at all. My company upgraded to Salesforce because a consultant recommended it. Nobody knows how to use it correctly; somehow, administration falls to me. So please dumb down your answer and/or provide specifics or links to how-to articles.

How can I restrict a picklist so that only existing values can be used?

I have found many new and strange values added to certain picklists. After testing, I found that a new value is created if an imported value does not exactly match an existing picklist value.

It only occurs during imports – a new value cannot be added using a Salesforce page field. I also found that even when I copy/paste an existing picklist value into a CSV for import, it often creates a new value with the exact same value name but a different API name.

I have read articles about restricting picklists, but these are not custom picklists but Industry and Account/Lead Source. I also heard you can set it to “Use strict validation for picklist values” in the Data Import Wizard and “insertNullValues” in Dataloader.io, but I do not see these options.


1 Answer 1


Standard picklist fields don't have the Picklist Option "Restrict picklist to the values defined in the value set ".

You could create a Validation Rule to prevent this from happening. Googling "How to restrict picklist value using Validation Rule" should give plenty of resources to take a look at.

Reach out if you struggle while creating it.

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