How to lock and protect selected cells from editing in Excel?

It's easy to lock and protect the whole worksheet or workbook with clicking the Protect Sheet button or Protect Workbook button under Review tab. However, sometimes you may need to lock and protect only specific cells or selections in a sheet. How would you like to do? This article will guide you to lock and protect selected cells or ranges in Excel with following steps:

Lock and protect selected cells from editing with modifying cell formatting

Lock and protect selected cells from editing with Kutools for Excel

Lock and protect selected cells from viewing by encrypting (2 steps)

Easily protect/lock some cells from editing in Excel

Kutools for Excel provides a quite easy way to protect or lock specified cells from editing in Excel: unlock the whole worksheet by Selection Unlock button, next lock the specified cells you will lock from editing by Selection Lock button, at last protect current worksheet. Click for detailed steps.

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arrow blue right bubbleLock and protect selected cells from editing with modifying cell formatting

The following steps will guide you to unlock all cells in current firstly, lock required cells and ranges, and then protect current worksheet. Please do as follows:

1. Click the Arrow at the upper-left corner of worksheet to select all cells in active worksheet.

2. Right click any selected cell, and select the Format Cell item from the context menu. See below screenshot:

3. In the Format Cells dialog box, uncheck the Locked option under Protection tab, and click OK button. See above screenshot:

4. Select cells and ranges that you want to lock, right click and select the Format Cell item from the context menu.

5. In the Format Cells dialog box, check the Lock option under Protection tab, and click OK button. See above screenshot:

6. Click Review > Protect Sheet to protect current worksheet. See below screenshot:

doc lock cells 5

7. Enter a password in the blank box in the popping up Protect Sheet dialog box, and click the OK button. And then retype the password into the another Confirm Password dialog box, and click the OK button. See screenshot above.

And now it locks and protects only cells and ranges you selected in the Step 4, while unselect ranges are editable.


arrow blue right bubbleLock and protect selected cells from editing with Kutools for Excel

Kutools for Excel's Selection Unlock utility and Selection Lock utility enable you to unlock/lock all selected cells with only one click, and then you can protect the whole worksheet with allowing unlocked cells to be edited.

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1. Click the Arrow at the upper-left corner of worksheet to select all cells in active worksheet.

2. Click Enterprise > Worksheet Design to activate the Design tab, and then click the Design > Selection Unlock. See screenshot:

Then a dialog box comes out to tell you selected cells have been unlocked. Just click the OK button to close it.

3. Select cells and ranges that you want to lock, and click the Design > Selection Lock.

Then click the OK button to close the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box.

Step 4: Click the Design > Protect Sheet or Review > Protect Sheet, and then you can follow the same steps we introduced in the first method to protect current worksheet.

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arrow blue right bubble Lock and protect selected cells from viewing by encrypting

If you have Kutools for Excel installed, it’s another Encrypt Cells utility can help you quickly lock and protect selected cells quickly. You can do as follows:

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1. Select the cells that you want to lock and protect, and click the Enterprise > Encrypt Cells.

2. In the opening Encrypt Cells dialog box, type your password into both Password box and Confirm box, and click the Ok button.

Then you will see all selected cells are encrypted at once as following screen shot shown:

Note: You can decrypt these encrypted cells with clicking Enterprise > Decrypt, and then type you password into opening dialog box.

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Quickly mass password protect multiple/all worksheets in Excel

Normally Excel's Protect Sheet feature can only protect active sheet. However, Kutools for Excel's Protect Worksheet utility enables to batch protect multiple (or all) worksheets with same password by only 2 steps.

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Comments  

Permalink +7 Hidayat
Thank you very much for the great tutorial.
2013-11-01 17:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +32 Dinesh
Please provide me details on how to lock certain cells and columns only not the whole sheet nor workbook but allow admin user and specific person to edit ranges using password provided.
2014-03-07 03:56 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -3 Azhagu
Thank You very much for the excellent tutorial
2014-04-19 08:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +3 herlin
thanks super usefull....


gracias super útil (utilísimo).... ..
2013-11-20 01:06 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Gueggeli
Thank you! Great tutorial :-)
2013-11-21 17:20 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 shreeja
Thanx great help...... :-)
2014-01-18 04:34 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +9 sulfikar
Hai,
I did above showing screen shot, but its protecting all area in the sheet,but ineed to lock only selected area.

Thanks
2014-01-27 15:21 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Excel Seeker
Please provide me details on how to lock certain cells and columns only not the whole sheet nor workbook but allow admin user and specific person to edit ranges using password provided.
2014-02-20 08:43 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +4 suresh.p
Please provide me details on how to lock certain cells and columns only not the whole sheet nor workbook but allow admin user and specific person to edit ranges using password provided.
2014-02-25 15:22 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +3 suresh.p
please send step by step procedure protect the certain cell in the excelsheet
2014-02-25 15:35 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -2 Admin-jay
Quoting suresh.p:
please send step by step procedure protect the certain cell in the excelsheet

There is no feature for that. We may consider to develop a feature in the future.
2014-02-26 09:04 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Love
we cant protect a specific cell or column but we can unprotect it before we select protect the entire sheet.
Selec the specific area you want to unprotect.
right click, protection tab, untick locked. then lock the sheet
2015-09-10 10:00 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Milo
I needed to protect only certain areas of worksheets. Thank you.Very useful
2014-01-28 06:03 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 ANOJAN
THANKS FOR YOUR WONDER-FULL HELP....I AM VERY HAPPY NOW.....
2014-02-04 05:39 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -4 chakravarthi S Prava
not working this option why ???
2014-02-05 11:24 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Amit Sharma
Thank You so much for so much easy understanding
2014-02-10 11:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +7 archana name
please require me particular row & colum protec sheet , please give me step wise details ( note- not all sheet protec particular space protec in excell sheet)
2014-02-15 02:28 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Chetan
Hi, If i follow above mentioned Step then i have unable put filter in the top row so please suggest on this query ?
2014-02-26 16:10 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Raunak Saraogi
Thanks

Very Good INFo & tutorial.
2014-03-07 08:50 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 sandeep
thanks ...Its very useful tutorial
2014-03-10 08:51 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 mohammad farhan
Thanks,,,

its very helpful
2014-03-16 13:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 jane
Hi... is there any way to lock the contents of the cells so that someone may copy their contents...but not be able to change or erase the contents of the cells? I tried checking off the first two boxes and protected the sheet... still able to alter contents of the cells. Thanks
2014-03-17 17:35 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Kishore
Very useful link. I solved my query
2014-03-24 08:04 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Ivorymes
It won't work if you select the columns - it will only work if you select the cells you wish to lock.
2014-03-26 15:58 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Joseph
It didn't work ... It locks every cell in my worksheet though i selectively locked the cell as u said Excel 2010
2014-04-09 09:20 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Alagbo
It will work for selected column.
2014-04-10 00:49 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Trupti Deshmukh
Thanks.. Great help...
2014-04-11 06:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Maqsood Ahmed
I have done my selected cell looked requriment
2014-04-16 10:19 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Krista
Very helpful, thank you!
2014-04-17 15:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Arushi Agrawal
Thank you very much. It works
2014-04-18 05:54 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 pishgaman
I did all above steps 100 times but when i want to edit unprotected cells this message shows off:"to make changes click unprotect Sheet in the Review.....".
it seems it does not work.Please help :cry:
2014-04-18 13:05 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Jay Chivo - Admin
Quoting pishgaman:
I did all above steps 100 times but when i want to edit unprotected cells this message shows off:"to make changes click unprotect Sheet in the Review.....".
it seems it does not work.Please help :cry:

Please contact me at :-)

please be more specific about your issue in your email. :-)
2014-04-19 06:09 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 pishgaman
Thanks everybody.i did it.
2014-04-21 17:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 pishgaman
I'm so happy.it worked
2014-04-21 17:47 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 pishgaman
it does not work...please help...needed urgently
2014-04-18 13:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 priyanka
thank you so much.


:)
2014-04-19 10:02 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Mika
Hi,.. when I lock the concrete column, it works that I am not able to change anything in it. But after locking the one concrete column, I can not change to add,insert and to cut, to change the width of the other columns. Do you know to help me,.how to lock one column, and do not avoid the work with other columns ?

Thank you.
2014-04-25 13:07 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Sanjay Kumar
Please go through this link, I am sure you will get your answer for locking any range of cells.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-in/excel-help/lock-or-unlock-specific-areas-of-a-protected-worksheet-HA010096837.aspx
2014-04-26 09:28 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Ashish Sharma
Nice, very helpful and my query resolved
2014-05-12 04:29 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Matt Eastwood
I understand how to protect a worksheet, and I know how to "unlock" certain cells in a worksheet, so that users of the worksheet can enter information into these unlocked cells. I have a worksheet where all I want the users to be able to do in certain cells is to be able to 'put in or insert' numbers. I don't want the users of this worksheet to be able to change the font, font color, font size, borders, etc. In other words, I want to create a worksheet where only numbers can be entered into certain cells, but no changes whatsoever can be made to the cell formatting of these cells. Thanks for your assistance.
2014-05-30 07:49 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Love
You need to unprotect it before you can format the cells
2015-09-26 22:59 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Jahangir
Very nice .... Awesome ... Thanks a lot ... :P
2014-06-12 06:25 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Rebecca
Thanks it worked!
Now I'm wondering if there's a way so that when I copy this table into Word those selected cells remain locked?
2014-06-12 09:23 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Amar Nath
I understand how to protect a worksheet, and I know how to "unlock" certain cells in a worksheet, so that users of the worksheet can enter information into these unlocked cells. I have a worksheet where all I want the users to be able to do in certain cells is to be able to 'put in or insert' numbers. I don't want the users of this worksheet to be able to change the font, font color, font size, borders, etc. In other words, I want to create a worksheet where only numbers can be entered into certain cells, but no changes whatsoever can be made to the cell formatting of these cells. Thanks for your assistance.
2014-06-15 18:27 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Jawaid
It's great help in very easy steps without confusing the user. :-)
2014-06-25 05:20 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Sethu
It really works..I was searching for the same for so many days.
Thank u
2014-07-04 06:29 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Armaghan Oonwala
thanxxxxx alottt.....
now im doing work easily
too easy and great tutorial
God bless u.....
2014-07-16 20:36 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Ompong
Thousand thanks for this easy to follow guide in locking the specific cells in Microsoft Excel.
2014-07-31 19:37 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Ankur
After going through this process of locking specific cells and protecting the sheet with a password, height and length of the rows and columns respectively of the sheet can't be changed. Any way out? Need help urgently.
2014-08-05 07:30 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Parameshwar
It is a nice and crispy description. I like it. Thank you very much
2014-08-08 11:29 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Marto
once i have locked cells to my likeing, the cells i can acess and edit, i dont seem to be able to change colour, font , size etc, even though they are not in the selcted lock range, the tool bar on my home tab is all greyed out, any ideas???
2014-08-11 21:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Bubba Louie
After looking at several tutorials on this subject, all of which were very confusing, I found this one. I followed the tutorial step by step and it works great. Thank you for making it so easy for this old timer that is high tech deficient. Bubba
2014-08-12 18:00 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Sol
thank you very much.. easy to follow
2014-08-15 14:28 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 zaur tskhvaradze
Thank you. Great tutorial
2014-08-21 07:25 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 imran
thnx...Mast Helpful....
2014-08-23 07:12 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Senthil
Good Support. thanks.
2014-08-25 05:41 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 abandohe
Thanks so much, an eye opener
2014-08-25 12:49 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 telisha
Brilliant tutorial!! Thank you very much
2014-08-27 14:08 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Bryce
Thanks for the information. May need to clarify #6 as I found it better if I unchecked one additional box.

Cheers
2014-08-31 09:46 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Shelford S. Somwarbi
Thank you so much for the nice assistance
2014-09-10 16:36 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 PUSHPENDRA
TAHNKS BUDDY its really helped me a lot in my job
2014-09-11 12:54 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Rajendran
Thanks. It helped me a lot. Now I am able to work on excel sheet in the safe mode.
2014-09-16 04:14 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 # OmondiBj
thanks, thz great.It helped me a lot. Now I am able to work on excel sheet in the safe mode
2014-09-18 07:50 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Exceluser
Thank you!!!!!!!!! This really helped unlike many other posts.
2014-09-25 18:14 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 sheetal
I want to lock indivisual column and row.

pls rpl me as soon as early wahat to do???
2014-09-26 06:52 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Andrew Mackenzie
:-) An excellent, clear explanation. Recommended
2014-10-07 14:37 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Roberto Vidal
Thanks for the clear explanation. Is it possible to do this over multiple cell ranges in a spreadsheet? For example, I would like to protect a certain column from all (one password) and then protect other columns from all but one user (that user would have a second password).

Thanks again.
2014-10-09 19:11 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Rosalieluck
I got a same queries that Dinesh state. "]Please provide me details on how to lock certain cells and columns only not the whole sheet nor workbook but allow admin user and specific person to edit ranges using password provided.
2014-10-30 03:01 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 AMANDA
Tried several times, the first time it works, and the selected cells are locked, not allowed to edit. However it began to fail from the second time, not working at all, all the cells allowed to edit again.
2014-10-31 19:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 yogesh
very very helpful tutorial!
2014-11-03 07:25 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 sunilkumar
Really thanks for your detailed explanation which help me to understand the concept.
2014-11-11 01:46 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 VijayGanesh
its very useful to me...
thanks for the good explanation
2014-12-05 04:50 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink -1 Elia
HI
There is a problem with this, once you protect the cells, it will protect the whole sheet as well. Means, the worksheet is not locked, but it is protected and is not completly editabl ( Read Step 8 and see in the screen shot, you have check the box which is written: " PROTECT WORKSHEET and conntents of locked cells". ) 90% of HOME, Insert and Data menu and some other options in different menus are locked. Can we lock cells in a way that you would be able to use all other menus and their options for unlocked cells?
2015-01-19 06:33 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 ju
Quote:
Please provide me details on how to lock certain cells and columns only not the whole sheet nor workbook but allow admin user and specific person to edit ranges using password provided.

Quoting VijayGanesh:
its very useful to me...
thanks for the good explanation

Quoting Exceluser:
Thank you!!!!!!!!! This really helped unlike many other posts.

"]thanks super usefull....


gracias super útil (utilísimo)......
2015-01-26 09:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 ju
ALRIGHT BRADLEY KNOWLES
2015-01-26 09:52 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Warren
Great help! Thank you!
2015-02-10 08:23 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Lore
What about if you want to add more locked cells to the one you already have locked? Looks like it unlock the prevues and you will have to do all the steps for the new and the prevues locked cells. Do you know how to just add the new locked cells?

Thanks
2015-03-10 01:34 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Babu
Excellent step by step instructions. Saved my time. Thanks a lot!
2015-03-24 15:34 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Gail
Is it possible to create a sign-up form in Excel and once a name is entered, that cell locks, and can only be edited by the form administrator? We have encountered some dishonest people who remove others' names and put their own in place of the removed ones.

Just wondering. Thanks
2015-04-16 20:46 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 ajesh
good tutorial, thanks
2015-05-20 05:50 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Ali
Great Tutorial , Thanks
2015-05-20 08:03 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 anoop
thanks i done it.....it will be helpful in my future work
2015-09-15 06:46 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink +1 Mike Massen
Hi,
I followed method 1 to the letter along with hiding the cells too. ie I have approx 120 rows & 20 cols and selected rows 6 to 15 to lock and it works fine, they are also hidden but, now I cannot change the formatting eg make bold etc on other cells though I can change the contents. The bold option is greyed out :-( Have been through this a couple of times and it is consistent. I am using Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010. It doesnt matter if I unhide either :-(
The dialog box re "Protect sheet" always also selects unlocked when I only want to select locked cells, there seems no way around this, what can I do ?
2015-09-20 08:45 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Azmat
Thanks Bro
thanks i done it.....it will be helpful in my future work
2015-11-04 10:37 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Ivalu Edwards
Great! it helped a lot .
2016-02-01 23:12 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Rizwan Shaikh
we cant protect a specific cell or column, so kindly suggest how to protect single column or row protect
2016-04-26 10:15 Reply Reply with quote Quote
Permalink 0 Rizwan Shaikh
how to protect single row or columm
2016-04-26 10:17 Reply Reply with quote Quote

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