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ASP.NET C# Disable/Enable ListItems

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26 Aug 20041 min read 175K   52   4
This article demonstrates how it is possible to disable/enable individual ListItems in a ASP.NET CheckBoxList Server Control.

A Brief Introduction

Have you ever wanted to disable/enable individual list items in a ListControl Server Control in ASP.NET? You might have tried to add attributes to the individual ListItems in a Server Control such as a CheckBoxList or DropDownList? It's impossible and a known bug. I needed to implement a way to disable/enable individual items of a CheckBoxList when a certain item was checked/unchecked. The problem was solved by adding a JavaScript function that is invoked by the onclick event of the CheckBoxList.


  1. Add a CheckBoxList to your ASP.NET WebForm and give it an ID of checkBoxListTest.
  2. Add a call to the LoadCheckBoxList in the Page_Load event.
  3. Add the LoadCheckBoxList method to your webpage class.
  4. Add the JavaScript function inside the head of the HTML.

ASP.NET CodeBehind

The following method adds the onclick function disableListItems to the CheckBoxList attributes collection. The function will disable all the items except for the last item in the list when it is checked. The method also adds three items to the CheckBoxList.

private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
private void LoadCheckBoxList()
       "disableListItems('checkBoxListTest', '2', '3')");
    // Add three items to the CheckBoxList.
    for(int i=0; i < 3; i++)
        ListItem item = new ListItem(i.ToString(), i.ToString());

The following code is the JavaScript function that is invoked by the onclick event of the CheckBoxList.

JavaScript Function

This is the javascript function that is invoked when the checkboxlist
is clicked.

Function:    disableListItems.
Inputs:        checkBoxListId - The id of the checkbox list.

            checkBoxIndex - The index of the checkbox to verify.
            i.e If the 4th checkbox is clicked and 
            you want the other checkboxes to be
            disabled the index would be 3.
            numOfItems - The number of checkboxes in the list.
Purpose:  Disables all the checkboxes when the checkbox to verify is
            checked.  The checkbox to verify is never disabled.
function disableListItems(checkBoxListId, checkBoxIndex, numOfItems)
    // Get the checkboxlist object.
    objCtrl = document.getElementById(checkBoxListId);
    // Does the checkboxlist not exist?
    if(objCtrl == null)

    var i = 0;
    var objItem = null;
    // Get the checkbox to verify.
    var objItemChecked = 
       document.getElementById(checkBoxListId + '_' + checkBoxIndex);

    // Does the individual checkbox exist?
    if(objItemChecked == null)

    // Is the checkbox to verify checked?
    var isChecked = objItemChecked.checked;
    // Loop through the checkboxes in the list.
    for(i = 0; i < numOfItems; i++)
        objItem = document.getElementById(checkBoxListId + '_' + i);

        if(objItem == null)

        // If i does not equal the checkbox that is never to be disabled.
        if(i != checkBoxIndex)
            // Disable/Enable the checkbox.
            objItem.disabled = isChecked;
            // Should the checkbox be disabled?
                // Uncheck the checkbox.
                objItem.checked = false;


The above code shows that it is possible to enable/disable individual items within a ListBox Server Control in ASP.NET. You can modify the C# and JavaScript code to meet your needs.


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
eyali.k3-Sep-09 2:01
eyali.k3-Sep-09 2:01 
GeneralThe same technique applied to a RadioButtonList doesn't work ?? [modified] Pin
Alexandru Matei9-Jun-08 4:00
Alexandru Matei9-Jun-08 4:00 
GeneralASP.NET C# Disable/Enable ListItems Pin
Geeki14-Nov-06 17:58
Geeki14-Nov-06 17:58 
GeneralRe: ASP.NET C# Disable/Enable ListItems Pin
jeff_tu24-May-07 9:28
jeff_tu24-May-07 9:28 

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