Lock or Unlock All/Specific Cells in Excel

How to Lock or Unlock All/Specific Cells in Excel 2016/2013

Aug 29, 2017 10:32 am / Posted by Michael Eric to Office Tricks
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Want to make sure that others cannot inadvertently or advertently change cells in the Excel files you share with? Microsoft Excel thoughtfully gives you an option to protect cells in a worksheet from editing. In this article, we will show you how to lock or unlock all/specific cells in Microsoft Excel 2016/2013 in details.

Part 1: How to Protect All Cells in Excel 2016/2013
Part 2: How to Lock Certain Cells in Excel 2016/2013
Part 3: How to Unlock Protected Cells in Microsoft Excel 2016/2013

Part 1: How to Protect All Cells in Excel 2016/2013

By default, all cells will be protected from editing, reformatting or deleting if you protect a worksheet. Follow steps below to password protect your Worksheet.

  • Open your worksheet in Excel 2016. Go to Review tab and then click on Protect Sheet. Optionally, you can enter a password that's required to unprotect the sheet (optional)
  • Keep Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells checked, and then you can select the actions you want to allow users of this worksheet to do. Finally click OK to protect the sheet.
  •  lock all cells in excel

Part 2: How to Lock Certain Cells in Excel 2016/2013

Sometimes, you only want to lock selected cells in a Worksheet so that other user still can modify other cells. So follow steps below to lock specific cells in a Worksheet.

  • Select the target cells you don’t want to lock. Right click on the selection and then select Format Cells from the menu.
  •  lock specific cells in excel
  • When the Format Cells dialog opens, select the Protection tab, uncheck the box next to Locked and then click OK to unlock the selected cells.
  • lock certain cells in excel
  • Now you have to go to Review tab -> Protect Sheet to protect the worksheet to unlock the selected cells and lock the rest of the cells.

Part 3: How to Unlock Protected Cells in Microsoft Excel 2016/2013

No matter you want to unlock all cells or specific cell on a protected Worksheet, simply follow steps below:

  • Open your worksheet in Excel 2016. Go to Review tab and then click on Unprotect Sheet.
  • If it asks the password to unprotect the sheet, enter the password in the box and click OK.
  • unlock cells in excel

That’s all for how to lock or unlock all/specific cells in Microsoft Excel 2016/2013. Another more secure way to protect your excel document is encrypted it with an opening password to prevent others from accessing to the workbook. But if you unfortunately forgot the opening password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. You can use a professional Excel password recovery tool to recover lost Excel password for you.

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