How to set a dropdownlist item as selected in ASP.NET?

I want to set selecteditem for asp. net dropdownlist control programmatically.

So I want to pass a value to the dropdownlist control to set the selected item where is the value of the item equal to the passed value.


dropdownlist.ClearSelection(); //making sure the previous selection has been cleared
dropdownlist.Items.FindByValue(value).Selected = true;

You can set the SelectedValue to the value you want to select. If you already have selected item then you should clear the selection otherwise you would get "Cannot have multiple items selected in a DropDownList" error.

dropdownlist.SelectedValue = value;

You can also use ListItemCollection.FindByText or ListItemCollection.FindByValue

dropdownlist.Items.FindByValue(value).Selected = true;

Use the FindByValue method to search the collection for a ListItem with a Value property that contains value specified by the value parameter. This method performs a case-sensitive and culture-insensitive comparison. This method does not do partial searches or wildcard searches. If an item is not found in the collection using this criteria, null is returned, MSDN.

If you expect that you may be looking for text/value that wont be present in DropDownList ListItem collection then you must check if you get the ListItem object or null from FindByText or FindByValue before you access Selected property. If you try to access Selected when null is returned then you will get NullReferenceException.

ListItem listItem = dropdownlist.Items.FindByValue(value);

if(listItem != null) 
   listItem.Selected = true;

You can use the FindByValue method to search the DropDownList for an Item with a Value matching the parameter.

dropdownlist.Items.FindByValue(value).Selected = true;

Alternatively you can use the FindByText method to search the DropDownList for an Item with Text matching the parameter.

Before using the FindByValue method, don't forget to reset the DropDownList so that no items are selected by using the ClearSelection() method. It clears out the list selection and sets the Selected property of all items to false. Otherwise you will get the following exception.

"Cannot have multiple items selected in a DropDownList"

This is a very nice and clean example:(check this great tutorial for a full explanation link)

public static IEnumerable<SelectListItem> ToSelectListItems(
              this IEnumerable<Album> albums, int selectedId)
        albums.OrderBy(album => album.Name)
              .Select(album => 
                  new SelectListItem
                    Selected = (album.ID == selectedId),
                    Text = album.Name,
                    Value = album.ID.ToString()

In this MSDN link you can read de DropDownList method documentation.

Hope it helps.

Set dropdown property


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