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How to identify and select all locked cells in Excel?

To protect important cells from modifying before distribution, normally we lock and protect them. However, we may get trouble in remembering the location of locked cells, and get popping up warning alert now and then, when we re-edit the worksheet later. Therefore, we introduce you three tricky ways to identify and select all locked cells in Excel quickly.

Identify and select all locked cells with Find command

Identify and select all locked cells with Kutools for Excel

Identify all locked cells with Kutools for Excel's Highlight Unlocked utility (only 1 step)

Easily encrypt and decrypt certain cells with password in Excel

Comparing to normally unlocking cells and then protecting the whole worksheet to protect/lock certain cells, Kutools for Excel’s Encrypt Cells utility enables you to protect/lock certain cells with password by just one step. After encryption, you can decrypt the cells by Decrypt Cells utility too. Full Feature Free Trial 60-day!

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Actually, we can find out all locked cells in active worksheet with Find command by following steps:

Step 1: Click Home > Find & Select > Find to open the Find and Replace dialog box. You can also open this Find and Replace dialog box with pressing the Ctrl + F keys.

Step 2: Click the Format button in the Find and Replace dialog box. If you can't view the Format button, please click the Options button firstly.

doc-select-locked-cells1

Step 3: Now you get into the Find Format dialog box, check the Locked option under Protection tab, and click OK.

doc-select-locked-cells2

Step 4: Then back to the Find and Replace dialog box, click the Find All button. Now all locked cells are found and listed at the bottom of this dialog box. You can select all searching results with holding the Ctrl key or Shift key, or pressing the Ctrl + A keys.

doc-select-locked-cells3

If you check the Select locked cells option when you Lock and protect selected cells, it will select all locked cells in active worksheet, and vice versa.


Kutools for Excel's Select Cells with Format utility can help you quickly select all locked cells in a certain range. You can do as follows:

Kutools for Excel - Combines more than 300 Advanced Functions and Tools for Microsoft Excel

1. Select the range in which you will select all locked cells, and click the Kutools > Select > Select Cells with Format.

2. In the opening Select cells with Format dialog box, you need to:

 

(1) Click the Choose Format From Cell button, and select a locked cell.

Note: If you can't remember which cell is locked, please select a cell in a blank sheet that you never used it before.

(2) Uncheck the Type option;

(3) Only check the Locked option;

 

3. Click the Ok button.

Then you will see all locked cells in the selected range are selected as below screen shot shown:

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Actually, Kutools for Excel provide another Highlight Unlocked utility to highlight all unlocked cells in the whole workbook. By this utility, we can identify all locked cells at a glance.

Kutools for Excel - Combines more than 300 Advanced Functions and Tools for Microsoft Excel

Click the Enterprise > Worksheet Design to enable the Design tab, and then click the Highlight Unlocked button on the Design tab. See below screen shot:

doc select locked cells 5

Now you will see all unlocked cells are filled by color. All cells without this fill color are locked cells.

Note: Once you locked an unlocked cell in current workbook, the fill color will be removed automatically.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sound · 2 years ago
    thanks - worked a treat!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Susan · 4 years ago
    This code works perfect for me. Do you have code to "unselect" the cells?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Cammandk · 5 years ago
    Tried using this code. Get at compile syntax error
    In code Sub Selectlockedcells() highlighted in yellow
    Red highlighted -
    For Each Rng In WorkRng
    If Rng.Locked Then
    If OutRng.Count = 0 Then
    Set OutRng = Rng
    Else
    Set OutRng = Union(OutRng, Rng)
    End If
         End If
    Next

    I'm trying this on a sheet that is protected. Tried protected/unprotected - get same error message
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Cammandk · 5 years ago
    I've tried to use the VBA code but I get a compile error at the "If Rng.Locked Then"
    I'm trying to get this to work on a sheet that is protected. I've protected/unprotected but code stops at this point?
    Am I missing something.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Joachim · 5 years ago
    Under certain conditions, this macro does NOT tell the truth. If you for example unlock the entire column B of a [u]new[/u] worksheet and then run the macro, it will wrongly assert that all cells are locked. The reason for such behavior is that format changes (like unlocking a range) applied to [u]entire[/u] columns or rows or sheets are mostly affecting cells [u]outside[/u] UsedRange as well.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      skyyang · 5 years ago
      Thank you for your reply, we have re-write a new code for selecting locked cells directly, and the code is only applied for the used range. Please try it.