# Data validation unique values only

=COUNTIF(range,A1)<2

To allow only unique values in a given range, you can use data validation with a custom formula based on the COUNTIF function. In the example shown, the data validation applied to C5:C9 is:

=COUNTIF(emails,C5)<2

where *emails* is the named range C5:C9.

### How this formula works

Data validation rules are triggered when a user adds or changes a cell value. In this example, we are using a formula that checks that the input doesn't already exist in the named range "emails":

COUNTIF(ids,B5)<2

COUNTIF returns a count of the value in C5 inside the named range *emails* (C5:C9). If the count is less than 2, the expression returns TRUE and validation succeeds. If not, the expression returns FALSE and validation fails.

*Note: Cell references in data validation formulas are relative to the upper left cell in the range selected when the validation rule is defined, in this case B5.*

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