I have a scenario where a user can select a name from a dropdown list which will then prefill their details. They may need to add details for multiple people. So, if there are 2 people. I select a name for drop down 1, the idea would be for drop down 2 that the name selected for drop down 1 would not be available or would show as disabled in drop down 2?

I've not seen disabled options within a drop down list? Is this an established pattern?

Thanks for your help

  • FWIW: There exists the multiple attribute in HTML <select> elements, which technically allows you to select 2 items from a single "dropdown". See MDN for more. That said: While that is a standard which some people will know about, I have some doubts it's the intuitive solution to your problem that's appropriate to the current day and age. Jan 5 at 14:57
  • Disabled is a valid attribute for option elements (source), but personally I would remove the unavailable item from the list.
    – jazZRo
    Jan 5 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


Selecting an option in a drop-down can affect the options in the second drop-down. Or you can say, options in the drop-down 2 will be populated based on the input selected in the drop-down 1. This is a common scenario and you do not need to show any disabled options.

I will not recommend disabling the options, as it will confuse the user as he might think why this option is disabled and when will it become enabled.


As @LeoWattenberg said, a dropdown that lets you select multiple would be a good solution except it isn't always clear that you can select multiple. So lets make it clear:

See this SO answer for a dropdown with checkboxes: Dropdown Checklist

Checkboxes are very well associated with multi-select so the clarity shouldn't be an issue.

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