Excel > Excel 2007 Intermediate > Excel Protection

Worksheet Protection

An Excel worksheet can be protected against accidental or deliberate corruption.

It is possible to protect specific cells on the worksheet, such as those containing formulas.

Worksheet protection can also be used to prevent users being able to unhide rows and columns, format cells and filter data.

Before protecting a worksheet, any cells to remain unprotected for editing should be unlocked.

Lock and unlock cells

  1. Select the cells you want to unlock
  2. Click the Format button in the Cells group of the Home tab
  3. The Format cells drop list appears

    Unlock cells

  4. The Lock Cell option is switched on by default. Click Lock Cell to unlock the selected cells

Apply worksheet protection

  1. Click the Protect Sheet button in the Changes group of the Review tab
  2. The Protect Sheet dialogue box is displayed

    Protect sheet
  3. Enter a password to protect the sheet
  4. From the Allow all users of this worksheet to box, select all the options that you want users to still be able to do after the sheet is protected
  5. Click Ok
  6. Re-enter the password when prompted
  7. Click Ok

The worksheet is protected. Actions such as unhide rows and columns and format cells will appear ghosted meaning they are inoperable.

Locked cells become read only. A message appears when a user attempts to edit a protected cell.

Protected cell

Unprotect a worksheet

To make any changes to protected cells, the worksheet needs to be unprotected.

  1. Click the Unprotect Sheet button in the Changes group of the Review tab
  2. Unprotect sheet

  3. Enter the password
  4. Click Ok

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