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How to prevent specific cell contents from being deleted in Excel?

This article is talking about preventing specific cell contents from being deleted in Excel. You can achieve it with the methods in this article.

Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by protecting the worksheet

Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by Kutools for Excel

Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by using VBA code

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arrow blue right bubble Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by protecting the worksheet


By default, all cells in worksheet are locked. If you want to prevent specific cell contents from being deleted, and make other cells editable after protecting, please do as follows.

1. Click the button on the top left corner of worksheet to select the whole worksheet. Then press Ctrl + 1 keys to open the Format Cells dialog box.

2. In the popping up Format Cells dialog box, uncheck the Locked option under the Protection tab, and then click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Select the cells you don’t want the contents to be deleted, press Ctrl + 1 keys to open the Format Cells dialog box again, check the Locked option under the Protection tab, and then click the OK button.

4. Now click Review > Protect Sheet, then specify and confirm your password in both the Protect Sheet and Confirm Password dialog boxes.

Now the worksheet is protected. And the specified cell contents won’t be deleted any more.


arrow blue right bubble Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by Kutools for Excel

You can quickly prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by protecting worksheet with the Worksheet Design function of Kutools for Excel.

1. Enable the Design tab by clicking Enterprise > Worksheet Design. See screenshot:

2. Click the button on the top left corner of worksheet to select the whole worksheet, and then click the Selection Unlock button under the Design tab to unlock all cell of the worksheet. And click the OK button in the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box.

3. Select the cells you don’t want the contents to be deleted, then click Selection Lock button under the Design tab. Then click the OK button in the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box

4. Click the Protect Sheet button under the Design tab, then specify and confirm your password in both the Protect Sheet and Confirm Password dialog boxes.

Now the worksheet is protected. And the specified cell contents won’t be deleted any more.


arrow blue right bubble Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted by using VBA code

Besides the above two methods, you can run VBA code to prevent specific cell contents from being deleted in a worksheet. Please do as follows.

1. Open the worksheet which contains the cell contents you don’t want to be deleted, right click the Sheet Tab, and then click View Code from the right-clicking menu.

2. Copy and paste the below VBA code into the Code window of the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

VBA code: Prevent specific cell contents from being deleted in Excel

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    If Intersect(Target, Range("A1:E7")) Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    On Error GoTo ExitPoint
    Application.EnableEvents = False
    If Not IsDate(Target(1)) Then
        Application.Undo
        MsgBox " You can't delete cell contents from this range " _
        , vbCritical, "Kutools for Excel"
    End If
ExitPoint:
    Application.EnableEvents = True
End Sub

Note: In the code, A1:E17 is the range which the cell contents you will prevent from being deleted. You can change the range based on your needs.

From now on, when you trying to delete cell contents from range A1:E17, you will get a Kutools for Excel dialog box as below screenshot shown, please click the OK button.


arrow blue right bubbleRelated articles:


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Neil Gore · 6 months ago
    VBA Code - Great Tip thanks

    Is there a VBA code to Prevent specific cell contents from being modified AND deleted in Excel?
    Usual protecting sheet does not work for me as I lose the ability to sort data?

    Thanks in advance - Neil
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    George M. · 7 months ago
    If you don't wan to look your sheet or write VBA code, then I use a simple technique that prevents from any override except for when they use the "DELETE" key (backspace won't be allowed, but Delete is hard to stop). What I did is added a data validation with the following settings:

    1) Allow --> List

    2) uncheck "Ignore blank" and "in-cell dropdown"

    3) In the source enter two double quotes (i.e., "")

    4) In Error Alert tab, check "Show error alter after invalid data is entered", select "Stop" for style, then enter an error message and description (e.g., Don't override)

  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Si · 10 months ago
    Hi there,

    I just tried the VBA script and while it works really well in most situations. However it doesn't work when you tab from an editable cell into the non-editable column/cell. The problem arises in that it throws the error message up - as commanded - but it doesn't keep the data that was entered in the original, editable cell which was tabbed from.

    Would you have an amendment to the script so that it accepts the data in the editable cell when you tab into un-editable?

    Cheers
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      crystal · 10 months ago
      Good day,
      I tried as you mentioned in your case, but no error throws. Would you provide a screenshot of your case or tell me your Office version?
      Thanks for your comment.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    HJR · 2 years ago
    Just what I was looking for, thanks for the help!
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      finn · 1 years ago
      don't worry always here to help :)