How To Lock Cells In Excel

In this article I am going to guide you on how to lock cells in excel sheet. To start with I will be throwing some light on what do we achieve by locking cells. Locking cells will protect your excel sheet and will not allow any user to edit the data unless they enter the password.

Please note that the steps shared below on lock cells in excel are for Excel 2007 only however the procedure is same for Excel 2003 and other versions. Normally when you try to protect an Excel sheet all cells are made protected by default.

Please follow below steps to lock only certain cells in excel:

1)     Press Ctrl+A and Select all Cells in the Excel sheet.

2)     Now Right Click and Select “Format Cells…” option.

3)     Now navigate to “Protection Tab” and uncheck the “Locked” option.

how to lock cells in excel

4)     Now click on “Ok” button.

5)     Now you need to select those cells that you want to lock \ protect.

6)     After selecting the cells, Right Click and select Format Cells..” option .

7)     Now again navigate to “Protection Tab” and check the “Locked” option.

how to lock cells in excel

8)     Now click on “Ok” button.

9)     Now you need to look at the top ribbon of excel sheet and select the “Review Tab”.

10)  After navigating to “Review Tab”, click on “Protect Sheet” button.

11)  Now in the “Protect Sheet” window, check “Select Unlocked Cells” only. Please note that by default “Select Locked Cells” and “Select Unlocked Cells” both are checked. So please ensure that you select the right option as mentioned here in Step 11.

how to lock cells in excel

12)  Now you need to set up a password.

13)  After setting up a password in Protect Sheet Window, click on “Ok” button.

14)  Now re-enter the password in the “Confirm Password” window.

how to lock cells in excel

15)  Click on “Ok” button.

So this was all about locking cells in excel. In case you want to unprotect the cells then all you need to do is to go to the “Review Tab” and select the “Unprotect Sheet” option. You will be required to re-enter your password here. After entering password the sheet will become unprotected and editable.

Please feel free to share your comments, feedback or suggestions in excel in the comments section below.


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Ankit is the founder of Geek Revealed. He is tech Geek who loves to sit in front of his square headed girlfriend all day long. :D   You can find Ankit on FaceBook or Google Plus


Douglas Morton April 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site! It’s easy to understand and has saved me hours! Simple things like converting a column to a row or locking a cell. Looking them up on Excel Help hasn’t worked for me for some reason. Thank goodness I found this site.

Admin April 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

You’re welcome Douglas and thanks for the kind words :)

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