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How to allow sorting and Filter locked cells in protected sheets?

In general, the protected sheet cannot be edited, but in some cases, you may want to allow the other users to do sorting or filtering in the protect sheets, how can you handle it?

Allow sorting and filtering in a protected sheet

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  Allow sorting and filtering in a protected sheet

To allow sorting and filter in a protected sheet, you need these steps:

1. Select a range you will allow users to sorting and filtering, click Data > Filter to add the Filtering icons to the headings of the range. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 1

2. Then keep the range selected and click Review > Allow Users to Edit Ranges. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 2

3. In the Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialog, click New to display the New Range dialog, give the range a name. See screenshot:

doc allow filter sort 3 shot arrow right doc allow filter sort 4

4. Click OK to go back to Allow Users to Edit Ranges dialog, and then click Protect Sheet. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 5

5. In the Protect Sheet dialog, type the password in the Password to unprotect sheet text box, and in Allow all users of this worksheet to list to check Sort and Use AutoFilter options. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 6

6. Click OK, and retype the password in the textbox in the Confirm Password dialog. Click OK to finish the sheet protecting. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 7

Then the users can sort and filter in this protected sheet

Tip. If there are multiple sheets needed to protect and allow users to sort and filter, you can apply Protect Worksheet utility of Kutools for Excel to protect multiple sheets at one time.please go to free try Kutools for Excel first, and then go to apply the operation according below steps.

1. After finish the first three steps to allow users to edit ranges in the specified sheets, click Enterprise > Protect Worksheet. See screenshot:
doc allow filter sort 8

2. In the Protect Worksheet dialog, select the sheets you want to protect, click Ok to display the next dialog, type and reenter the password, and check Sort and Use AutoFilter in Allow all users of this worksheet to list.
doc allow filter sort 9

3. Click Ok. Now a dialog box pops out and shows how many sheets have been protected as below screenshot shown. Please click the OK button to close it.
doc allow filter sort 10

Now all specified sheets have been protected but allowed to sort and filter.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    MJ · 3 months ago
    This also changed the way cells react to clicks. i.e. Protection: Allow users to "select locked cells" no longer rejects attempted changes, but removes protection altogether and allows changes to the data in the cell... and ... Disallowing "select locked cells" will no longer allow you to copy any locked cells. Trade-offs for allowing sort/filter on a protected sheet. pls correct me if I'm wrong.
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    Daniel · 5 months ago
    Here's my issue. I have a Table with several columns and lots of rows. I want people to be able to edit certain columns, filling in the information they gather, sort/filter by any column, and be able to select and copy data from any cell, but not change values in columns they are not entering information into. A = ID, B = Title, C = Description, D = Type, E = Who Knows It?, F = Completed by. They should be able to sort/filter any column and copy from any cell, but they should only be able to edit D, E, and F. Is this possible?
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 2 months ago
      Hi, Daniel, just select the cells you allow others edit, format them to unlock in format cells dialog, then protect the sheet, now only the unlocked cells can be edited.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Abhijit · 21 days ago
        However when you protect the sheet and allow filter too, the "Clear Filter" button in the Data tab gets greyed out and user is not able to clear the filter, rather they have to go to each filter and manually clear them. Is there any way to keep the "Clear Filter" option active even after protecting the worksheet?
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          David · 10 hours ago
          I have the same question. I would love to know the answer to Abhijt's question, if there is one.
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    chenna · 11 months ago
    very helpful! it fixed my filter issue with protected worksheets