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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

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.


Lock 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 Kutools Plus > Worksheet Design to activate the Design tab, and then click the Design > Unlock Cells. 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 > Lock Cells.

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

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.


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 Kutools Plus > Encrypt Cells > Encrypt Cells.

2. In the opening Encrypt Cells dialog box, type your password into both Password box and Confirm box, select one of mask types, 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 Kutools Plus > Encrypt Cells > Decrypt Cells, and then type you password into opening dialog box.

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Demo: lock and protect selected cells in Excel


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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.
ad protect multiple sheets


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Comments (93)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you very much for the great tutorial.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank You very much for the excellent tutorial
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
thanks super usefull.... gracias super útil (utilísimo)......
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you! Great tutorial :-)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanx great help...... :-)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hai, I did above showing screen shot, but its protecting all area in the sheet,but ineed to lock only selected area. Thanks
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
please send step by step procedure protect the certain cell in the excelsheet
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
[quote]please send step by step procedure protect the certain cell in the excelsheetBy suresh.p[/quote] There is no feature for that. We may consider to develop a feature in the future.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I needed to protect only certain areas of worksheets. Thank you.Very useful
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
THANKS FOR YOUR WONDER-FULL HELP....I AM VERY HAPPY NOW.....
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
not working this option why ???
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank You so much for so much easy understanding
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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)
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, If i follow above mentioned Step then i have unable put filter in the top row so please suggest on this query ?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks Very Good INFo & tutorial.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
thanks ...Its very useful tutorial
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks,,, its very helpful
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
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
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Very useful link. I solved my query
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
It won't work if you select the columns - it will only work if you select the cells you wish to lock.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
It didn't work ... It locks every cell in my worksheet though i selectively locked the cell as u said Excel 2010
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
It will work for selected column.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks.. Great help...
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