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How to lock cells in Excel?

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  • 4 min read

Spreadsheets, as one knows, are a mainstay in professional settings and often switch hands between personnel. Their cells contain sensitive data, which include essential formulae, numbers and keywords. Thus, they include information which one may not like being modified.

Hence, there is a provision in Excel to lock cells within worksheets and workbooks to prevent unauthorised edits.

The following guide lists steps one needs to follow to lock cells in a worksheet in Excel and the entire workbook.

Ensure the password set to protect cells is easy to remember since Excel cannot recover them for any user.

Also read: How to remove track changes in Word?

How to lock cells in a Excel Worksheet?

Due to Excel’s default settings, unauthorised users cannot edit cells in a protected worksheet; thus, unless you have changed the default scroll down to Step 5 and follow steps from that point.

Step 1: Select all the cells you wish to lock.

Click on the block marked in Green to select all cells in a worksheet at once.

How to lock cells in Excel? | Candid.Technology

Step 2: Press Ctrl + 1 (Windows) or Command + 1 (macOS) to activate the Format Cells dialogue box.

Step 3: In the Format Cells dialogue box, click on Protection.

Step 4: Activate Locked Cells by clicking on the box and then OK.

Step 5: Navigate to Review tab. Here, under the Protect tab, select Protect Sheet.

Step 6: Set a password to ensure no user can change the entered information without valid credentials.

Excel does not force users to apply a password to protect a worksheet. Though, any user can remove protection and make changes to the entered information, if there isn’t one.

Step 7: Check the boxes next to the actions you want to allow other users to make and click on OK.

The list below includes actions you can allow other users to perform without requiring a password.

  • Select locked cells
  • Select unlocked cells
  • Format cells
  • Format columns
  • Format rows
  • Insert columns
  • Insert rows
  • Insert hyperlinks
  • Delete columns
  • Delete rows
  • Sort
  • Use AutoFilter
  • Use PivotTable & PivotChart
  • Edit objects
  • Edit scenarios

Also read: How to add a watermark on Microsoft Word?

How to lock a Excel Workbook?

The steps listed above protect cells in a particular worksheet from changes. But other users can still add or remove worksheets — even protected sheets — if workbook protection is not activated. To prevent this follow the steps listed below.

Step 1: Under the Protect tab, select Protect Workbook.

Step 2: Set a password to ensure no one can change the entered information without valid credentials.

Also read: How to change slide size in Microsoft Powerpoint?

Aryan Surendranath

Has an interest in technology and video games. When not doing anything related to either of these you will find him with his books, educational or not.

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