Ra3IDeN Ra3IDeN - 1 year ago 52
ASP.NET (C#) Question

Why does html.dropdownlist set first property option as selected?

I found something really weird and I hope someone can explain this.

I have a dropdownlist :

<div class="form-group">
@Html.Label("Roll", new { @class = "col-md-2 control-label" })
<div class="col-md-10">
"Choose a role",
new { @class = "form-control", })

My model contains a huge chunk of properties but the one that is releveant is the enum property :

public OverWatchRoles UserRole { get; set; }


public enum OverWatchRoles
SuperDeveloper = 0,
Developer = 1,
SuperAdministrator = 2,
Administrator = 3,
Employee = 4

method that populates the dropdownlist:

public static List<SelectListItem> FilterRoleAssignmentList()
var user = HttpContext.Current.User.Identity;
ApplicationDbContext context = new ApplicationDbContext();
var UserManager = new UserManager<ApplicationUser>(new UserStore<ApplicationUser>(context));
var userRole = UserManager.GetRoles(user.GetUserId());

List<SelectListItem> roles = new List<SelectListItem>();

switch (userRole[0])
case "Developer":
roles = Enum.GetNames(typeof(OverWatchRoles))
.Where(f => f != OverWatchRoles.SuperDeveloper.ToString())
.Select(f => new SelectListItem { Value = f, Text = f, Selected = false }).ToList();

case "Administrator":
roles = Enum.GetNames(typeof(OverWatchRoles))
.Where(f => f != OverWatchRoles.SuperDeveloper.ToString() && f != OverWatchRoles.Developer.ToString() && f != OverWatchRoles.SuperAdministrator.ToString())
.Select(f => new SelectListItem { Value = f, Text = f, Selected = false }).ToList();

roles = Enum.GetNames(typeof(OverWatchRoles))
.Select(f => new SelectListItem { Value = f, Text = f, Selected = false }).ToList();

return roles;


I found that when I have the name of the dropdownlist = "UserRole" which is the same name as the propetty in the model then the first enum option gets selected by default. when I change the name of the dropdownlist then the default selected value becomes "choose a role".

Why is this happening? and how do i work around it? I'd like to have "choose a role" as the default selected option.

Answer Source

It's a non-nullable enum property, so it can't be null. The dropdown will have the model's value selected if it can find a model property with the same name.

So make the model property nullable so it won't have the default value of SuperDeveloper:

public OverWatchRoles? UserRole { get; set; }

Then "Choose a role" will be displayed instead.