Protecting Excel worksheet cells against changes

  • If you apply protection to cells in a worksheet, the contents of the cells cannot be changed until the protection is turned off.
  • Locking cells has no effect unless the worksheet itself is protected.
  • By default, when a new worksheet is started all the cells are locked, but the worksheet is not protected, so all cells can be seen as usual.

To protect a range or group of cells in a worksheet using Excel 2007,  Excel 2010 or Microsoft Excel 2013:

  1. Select those cells that you want to unlock.
  2. Click the Home tab, then in the Cells group, click the Format dropdown.
  3. Click Lock Cell. This is a toggle, so will unlock the cells.
  4. Click the Review tab, then in the Changes group, click Protect Sheet.
  5. If you want to ensure that a password is required, type one into the Password to unprotect sheet box.
  6. Select what you will allow other users to do from the Allow all users of this worksheet to list. To ensure that they cannot type in locked cells, get rid of the tick by Select unlocked cells.
  7. Click OK.

To apply worksheet protection:

Users of the worksheet will then be able to write in unlocked cells but will not be able to make changes to – or even click into – locked cells.

  • To unprotect the worksheet again, click the Review tab, then in the Changes group, click Unprotect Sheet. If you assigned a password, you will be asked for it. Click OK.
  • Note that passwords are case sensitive.

If using Excel 2003 or earlier:

To protect a range or group of cells in a worksheet:

  1. Select those cells that you don’t want to protect.
  2. Click Format – Cells or press Ctrl + 1. The Format Cells dialog box will be displayed.
  3. Click the Protection tab.
  4. Uncheck the Locked check box. This will disable protection on the selected cells. Click OK.
  5. Click Tools – Protection – Protect Sheet. If you want users to be unable to turn off the protection, type in a password, which you will then be asked to re-enter. Make the relevant selections in the Allow all users of this worksheet to section. Click OK. All the worksheet, apart from the cells that you selected will be protected, and information in the protected cells cannot be entered or changed.

Find out more about our Microsoft Excel training London UK or our Microsoft Excel training Sydney, Australia.

About jdonbavand

I am a trainer of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project and Crystal Reports. I have called my blog "If Only I'd Known That...." because I hear it so many times in training sessions. In fact, if only I had a £100 (or 150 Aussie dollars)for every time someone says "If only I'd known that." ....
This entry was posted in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft Excel 2013 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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