How to Lock Cells in Excel

If you lock cells in Excel, they can no longer be changed, but the remaining rows and columns of the workbook can be changed. How to apply this protection, we show in this tip.

Lock Cells in Excel

Protecting one or more cells is a bit more cumbersome than locking a whole worksheet:

  1. First, right-click on the small gray square that you will find in the upper left corner between the column name and the row numbering.
  2. The entire workspace is now colored blue and the context menu is open.
  3. In the context menu select “Format cell” and select the tab “Protection”
  4. The option “Locked” is activated by default, you deactivate the function and leave the menu by clicking on “OK”.
  5. Now select the cell or cells you want to lock.
  6. If there are several cells that are not next to each other, click on the cells individually while holding down the [Ctrl] key.
  7. Then right-click again to open the context menu and click on “Locked” in the “Protection” tab.

Reliably protect Excel cells – 2nd step

To activate the cell protection function, you now have two options.

  • You could use the Review tab to select the Protect Sheet icon in the Quick Start bar.
  • Or you decide for the much faster way and click in the lower sheet area with a right click on the appropriate tab.
  • In the context menu, select “Protect Sheet”.
  • If you wish, assign a password for your cells in the menu “Protect sheet” or confirm immediately with “OK”.

If you have given your worksheet a password and forgotten it, we will tell you here how to access the workbook again.

How to Lock Individual Cells

With shared documents, a cell lock can make sense. This is how it works in Excel 2016.

  1. First, a complete blade guard must be prevented. Press Ctrl + A (DE keyboards: Ctrl + A) to highlight all cells.
  2. Run a right-click and select the point Format Cells .
  3. In the Protection tab, remove the checkmark under the item Locked . Then click OK .
  4. Now select the cell (s) you want to lock.
  5. Now click on the check tab and then on the button protect sheet.
  6. Enter a password and confirm it.

Protecting and Lock individual cells in Excel

If you want to create an editable worksheet in Excel but only allow your colleagues to edit specific parts of your table, you can protect selected cells. With the protection of the whole table, you have the problem that it can not be changed at all.

If you or your colleagues want to work on a table, it may be useful to protect certain cells. For example, if there are formulas in your table that can not be modified, you can lock them for editing. This will prevent not only intentional but also accidental changes that could confound the spreadsheet.

If you accidentally lock an Excel spreadsheet , you can undock the sheet protection under Format or click Format Cells to unlock specific areas.

Individual cells protect in Excel

  1. Start Excel.
  2. Switch to the “Check” tab and select “Remove sheet protection”. You may need to allow this with a password.
  3. Select all cells by clicking in the top left corner of the table.
  4. In the “Start” tab, select “Format> Format Cells> Protection” and uncheck “Locked”. Click OK”.
  5. Now mark the cells you want to protect and choose Format> Format Cells> Protection again. Put the checkmark next to “Locked” and confirm with “OK”.
  6. Finally, go to “Review” and select “Protect Sheet”.
  7. Adjust the options in the list to your wishes.
How to Lock Cells in Excel
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