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How to protect / lock all but certain cells in Excel worksheet?

In Excel, as we all known, all cells are locked by default, when you protect the worksheet, it will not be modified. But, sometimes, you want to protect all cells but some specific cells which can be edit by others. This article, I will talk about some quick tricks for you to solve this problem.

Protect / Lock all but certain cells with normal Excel feature

Protect / Lock all but certain cells with Kutools for Excel

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Protect / Lock all but certain cells with normal Excel feature


In Excel, you can apply the Format Cells and Protect Sheet utilities to protect all cells but leave some specific ones, please do as follows:

1. Select the cells that you want to unprotect.

2. Then right click, and choose Format Cells form the context menu, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 1

3. In the Format Cells dialog box, click Protection tab, and keep Locked option unchecked from the checkbox, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 2

4. Then click OK to close this dialog box, and go on clicking Review > Protect Sheet, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 3

5. In the following dialog box, please enter and confirm the password that you want to protect the cells:

doc lock all but one 4

6. At last, click OK button, all the cells have been protected but leaving the specific cells unprotected.


Protect / Lock all but certain cells with Kutools for Excel

If you are tired of the above method, I can talk about an interesting way for you to solve this task. Kutools for Excel’s Worksheet Design feature may do you a favor.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. 

After installing kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Select the specific cells that you don’t want to be protected.

2. Then click Enterprise > Worksheet Design, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 5

3. And a new Design tab will be displayed, and then click Selection Unlock to unlock the certain selected cells, see screenshots:

doc lock all but one 6 6
 1
doc lock all but one 7

4. Then click OK button, and go on clicking Protect Sheet under the Design tab, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 8 8

5. And type the password and confirm it, see screenshot:

doc lock all but one 4

6. And now, all the cells in this worksheet are protected except the selected ones. You can modify them as you need.

Click to know more about this Selection Unlock feature.

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Demo: Protect / Lock all but certain cells with Kutools for Excel

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