How to lock and protect formulas in Excel?

When you create a worksheet, sometimes you need to use some formulas, and you don’t want other users to change, edit or delete the formulas. The easiest and most common way of preventing people from playing with your formulas is to lock and protect cells which contain formulas in your worksheet. Please go to lock and protect the formulas as follows:

Lock and protect formulas with Format Cells and Protect Sheet functions

Lock and protect formulas with Worksheet Design good idea3

arrow blue right bubble Lock and protect formulas with Format Cells and Protect Sheet functions

By default, all cells on a worksheet are locked, so you must unlock all of the cells first.

1. Select the whole worksheet with Ctrl + A, and right click, choose Format Cells from the context menu.

2. And a Format Cells dialog box will pop out. Click Protection, and unchecked the Locked option. Click OK. The whole worksheet has been unlocked.


3. Then click Home > Find & Select > Go To Special, and a Go To Special dialog box will appear. Check Formulas from Select option, and then click OK. See screenshot:


4. All of the cells which contain formulas will be selected.

5. Then go to lock the select cells. Right click on the selected cells, and choose Format Cells from the context menu, and a Format Cells dialog box will display. Click Protection, check the Locked checkbox. See screenshot:

6. And then click Review > Protect Sheet, and a Protect Sheet dialog box will pop out, you can enter the password in the Passwordto unprotect sheet box. See screenshot:


7. Then click OK. And another Confirm Password dialog box will appear. Reenter your password. And click OK.


And then all cells which contain formulas have been locked and protected. In this case, you cannot modify the formulas, but you can edit other cells.

arrow blue right bubble Lock and protect formulas with Worksheet Design

If you have installed Kutools for Excel, you can lock and protect formulas quickly by using Worksheet Design utility.
Kutools for Excel, with more than 120 handy functions, makes your jobs easier. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:(Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Click Enterprise > Worksheet Design to enable the Design group. See screenshot:

doc protect formulas 1

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doc protect formulas 2

2. Then click Highlight Formulas to highlight all formula cells. See screenshot:
doc protect formulas 3

3.Select all the highlighted cells and click Selection Lock to lock the formulas. And there is a dialog pops out to remind you that the fomulas cannot lock until protect the sheet. See screenshots:

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4. Now click Protect Sheet to type the password to protect the sheet. See screenshots:
doc protect formulas 6


1. Now the formulas are locked and protected, and you can click Close Design to disable the Design tab.

2. If you want to unprotect the sheet, you just need to click Worksheet Design > Unprotect Sheet.

In Worksheet Design group, you can highlight unlock cell, name range and so on.

Tip.If you want to quickly protect multiple sheets, please try to use the Kutools for Excel’s Protect Worksheet as shown in the following screenshot. It’s full function without limitation in 60 days, please download and have a free trial now.

doc protect multiple worksheets

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