How To Lock And Unlock A Cell In An Excel Worksheet

Published on January 9, 2017

You may have a situation where you want to lock one or more cells in an excel worksheet in order to disallow the users of the worksheet to edit the content of those cells.

The procedure to lock a cell in a worksheet is pretty simple. In fact, all the cells are already locked by default in Excel. However, the locking feature works only when the worksheet is protected (Click here to learn how to protect a worksheet). Once the worksheet is protected, all your cells (i.e. the whole worksheet) will be locked. So, if you want to lock a cell, you have to unlock all cells first, lock the cell, and then protect the sheet.

You just need to follow the below steps to lock a cell:

1. Select all the cells in the worksheet by pressing Ctrl + A (once or twice as needed)

2. Right-click on any cell and click on ‘Format Cells’ option.

3. Go to ‘Protection’ tab, uncheck the ‘Locked’ checkbox and click OK.

4. Right-click the cell that you need to lock and then click ‘Format Cells’ (as you did above in Step 2).

5. Go to ‘Protection’ tab, check the ‘Locked’ checkbox and click OK.

6. Protect the Sheet (Click here to learn how to protect a worksheet)

The cell will be locked now i.e. it cannot be edited. If you want to unlock the cell, you need to unprotect the sheet by entering the password.

Hope this article will help you protect cells in excel worksheets thereby making you experience in using Excel better.

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