How do I use Excel to block users from using cells?

Forum home » Topics » How do I use Excel to block users from using cells?

How do I use Excel to block users from using cells?

Sometimes it is important to block users from parts of a spreadsheet so that they cannot accidentally edit the document. Without realising it, a user of a spreadsheet can type over important formulas preventing the sheet from calculating results correctly.

In Excel preventing these kind of accidents is managed by protecting important cells on a worksheet. To the end user when protection is enabled the result is certain cells can no longer be edited. Whole sheets of sensitive information can be hidden completely if required.

In normal use of Excel we can edit any cell in a sheet. This is because protection is not turned on by default. Interestingly all cells on a worksheet have their 'locked' setting ticked, ready for when you want to apply protection to your sheet.

You can see this if you right-click on any cell in a worksheet, choose Format Cells then click the Protection tab. All cells have the locked setting ticked. This doesn't affect the end user because the overall protection feature is not active.

When you do need to enable protection on a worksheet first decide which cells you would like your users to edit. Select these cells and set their protection setting to be unlocked.

This means that when protection is enabled in the workbook only these 'unlocked' cells will be editable. Everything else will be protected from edits.

Related forum posts:

Protecting a cell?

Hello, Further to my training course that i attended on Monday, please can you tell me where i can find the section on protection a cell, that prevents another user seeing what the sum is. I would appreciate it if you can let me know the answer. Kind Regards Steve

Read forum post


Can I password protect a range within a worksheet?

can I password protect a range within a worksheet?

Read forum post


Cell protection

How do i protect a cell once i have added the formula

Read forum post


Password protection

How do you protect a worksheet

Read forum post


Excel/not being able to view contents in a cell

How can you protect a cell from people knowing that there is text in it, but when in that cell, not being able to view the contents

Read forum post


Cell Protection

Is there anyway to Lock/protect single cells with formula is a Spreadsheet without locking the whole spreadsheet? I have a worbook whic requires other users to put in a lot of data but I don't want them to edit the formulas by mistake so need to lock these?

Read forum post



How do you protect a worksheet in Excel 2007

Read forum post


Workbook protection

Hi, Is it possible to protect my workbook data from being hijacked by other people. I only want certain cells to be overtyped but at the same time I would like to keep my formulated cells to be locked? Thank you Hatice

Read forum post


Locking a document

Think I need a revision of locking an excel document and creatinga password for certain fields.

Read forum post


Related articles

Trust Excel To Protect Your Data

Whether you are working with sales projections or salary figures, it's important to use a reliable and trustworthy program to compile spreadsheet documents. Excel 2010 offers just that with the added security of its Trust Center to protect all of your confidential and sensitive data.

Read article


How To Protect Your Work In Excel 2010

We live in an increasingly security-conscious world, and never more so than when it comes to data. If you have to protect your work in Excel 2010, here are some ways you can go about it.

Read article


How Getting Together Is Now Even Easier With Excel

With Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010 you can share workbooks with colleagues wherever you are working from - and whatever program they are using. We take a look at how sharing data is now effortless and simple, even for those who don't have Microsoft Excel.

Read article


What's mine is yours: Sharing data in Excel

Read article



Training courses


Welcome. Please choose your application (eg. Excel) and then post your question.

Our Microsoft Qualified trainers will then respond within 24 hours (working days).

Frequently Asked Questions
What does 'Resolved' mean?

Any suggestions, questions or comments? Please post in the Improve the forum thread.

Server loaded in 0.11 secs.