In many cases, you might be required to share your Excel sheet with other people for them to fill in data. But what if you want to protect some specific cells by preventing any overwrites on them? But what if at the same time you want a certain set of people to have edit access to the locked cells too? Sounds complex? Well, how about you lock the cells that you want to be locked with a password and share the password with only those people whom you want to have edit access to your locked cells?
In that case, only the people who know the password you set, will be able to edit the cells you locked. If you share the password with no one else, then no one else gets to edit it! Sounds too good to be true? Well, you are in for a treat then! In this article, we explain in detail how you can selectively lock specific cells in your Excel sheet. We also show you how you can successfully unlock them when needed. Hope you enjoy reading the article.
Section 1: How to Prevent Other Users from Editing Specific Cells in Excel
Step 1: Let’s say you have the following Excel sheet and you want to lock the 3 cells marked inside the red box, so that they cannot be edited without a password.
Step 2: Firstly, click on the Select All button which is located at the intersection of row labels and column labels. Once you click on this button, the whole Excel worksheet will be selected.
After that, right click somewhere on the sheet and then click on the Format Cells option from the right click context menu.
Step 3: On the Format Cells window, make sure you are at the Protection tab.
Now, uncheck the checkbox corresponding to the option Locked. Once all done, hit the OK button at the bottom.
Step 4: As next, select only those cells that you want to be locked. In the example below, I want only 3 cells to be locked, so I have selected those 3 cells by clicking on them and dragging them.
Note: You can select non-adjacent cells by selecting them and keeping the CTRL key pressed down.
Step 5: As next, right click anywhere on the selected range of cells and then click on the Format Cells option from the right click context menu.
Step 6: Now on the Format Cells window, once again, make sure you are at the Protection tab. But this time, make sure to enable the Locked checkbox.
Hit the OK button to proceed.
Step 7: Let’s lock the document now. For that, click on the REVIEW tab from the top ribbon. Under the REVIEW tab options, click on the button Protect Sheet.
Step 8: Now on the Protect Sheet window, type in a password under the Password to unprotect sheet field. Be sure to remember this password as this password will be required to unlock your sheet later.
Once you are all done, hit the OK button.
Step 9: In the window that follows, you will be asked to confirm the password that you entered in the step above. Confirm the password by typing it under the field Reenter password to proceed. Hit the OK button.
Step 10: That’s it. If you now double click on any of the locked cells, you will get a warning message saying that you cannot edit a protected cell. You can close the warning dialog window by pressing the OK button.
Section 2: How to Unlock the Locked Cells in Excel
In the section above, we learned how to successfully lock specific cells in our Excel sheet. Now let’s see how we can unlock them if we ever need to edit their values in the future.
Step 1: Firstly, click on the REVIEW tab from the top ribbon. Hit the Unprotect Sheet button from the list of options available.
Step 2: In the step that follows, you will be asked to enter the password with which you locked your cells earlier. Enter the same password and hit the OK button.
Step 3: Magic! The locked cells are now unlocked and you can double click on them and edit them as per your choice.
Please tell us in the comments section whether you could successfully lock and unlock specific cells in your Excel document following our article.
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