I have a form that contains a select dropdown that requires the user to select from a list of locations.

However, there are instances where there is only ONE location. What is the best way to display this?

  1. A select dropdown with only one option
  2. A disabled select dropdown (or textfield) - disabled since it will really have only one option in the dropdown anyway

5 Answers 5


It depends on the context.

When people see this form more than once and possibly with multiple options, the dropdown should stay consistently there and enabled. The fact that it shows one item gives the right impression. If the dropdown is disabled, it communicates that the (only) option isn't available to them. So I advice to leave the dropdown as is and don't disable it.

It would even be better if you can add a help text near the dropdown when it only shows one item. Like: "... is the only option because ...".

But, when people will see this only one time you can also replace the dropdown with text. I can't really give a good example without more context, but the text should tell what the (dropdown) option otherwise would have communicated. Like: "This package only ships to ..." etc.


In my opinion an option with only one option is not really an option. Especially if it is a required field. The second option feels the most logical to me. You might also style so it does not look as much as a dropdown so that users might be less confused as to why they cannot choose anything. When there are multiple options: you display the select dropdown. When there is one option: you might style it like a statistic/static text.

For example Location: Madrid, Spain.

This is no factual information. Just my take on it. Hope it helps!


I suggest the second option, or using a a mandatory checkbox, because when you show the user a dropdown list with only one option, they may feel that there is an issue with internet connection or website server and the list did not load yet.


This is interesting.

So the question is whether that selection is mandatory or not. If the user can skip that selection then I might put an option as ignore or prefer not to answer or for that matter wont even click the dropdown, so having a selected greyed out option is not a good one. However if its mandatory second option might be a good call.

  • What do you mean with ignore or prefer not to answer? In the case of the dropdown the only available option will already be selected for the user.
    – Nash
    Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 6:19
  • is that field mandatory? or can the user decide to skip it Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 13:33

It depends on the context. Let's consider the following two examples.

The first example can be the state selection for the town that may appear in multiple states. Once the user enters Springfield, a select menu will show the options for the more precise location. If it's a town with a rare name and there is one option in the select menu, so be it. Just don't remember to auto-select the most common option.

The second example can be the delivery place, e.g., front door or concierge. If only one option is available to the user, it can be picked in the select menu, but the other is shown grayed out with a tooltip why these options are not available.

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