Password Protect Cells in Excel 2010

How to Password Protect Cells in Excel 2010

August 22, 2017 10:32 am / Posted by Michael Eric to Office Tricks
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“Is it possible to password protect one or two cells in an Excel 2010 file? I have an Excel file which would be available on a shared drive. I want the users to be able to access all cells except one or two cells. Except the two cells which are protected all other cells should be editable.”

-from Super User

Suppose that you make an important chart and work hard on your Excel spreadsheet and then you would like to password protect cells on Excel 2010 file. Therefore, how to do that? Just follow this tutorial to learn.

Part 1. How to Password Protect All Cells in Excel 2010
Part 2. How to Lock Certain Cells in Excel 2010

Part 1. How to Password Protect All Cells in Excel 2010

If you would like to password protect all cells in Excel 2010, it means to password protect a sheet or a workbook. In that case, you can follow these steps to solve problem.

Case 1. How to Password Protect All Cells in Workbook

Once you want to password protect all cells in a workbook, you can do that with one of the below ways.

(1) “File” -> “Info” -> “Protect Workbook” -> “Encrypt with Password”

Then it will pop up a window to ask for encrypting the contents of this file. Just type the new password and reenter it again to confirm it. Finally click “OK” button and close the window.

protect workbook Excel 2010

(2) “Menus” -> “Tools” -> “Protection” -> “Protect Workbook”

(3) “Review” -> “Protect Workbook”

Then it will pop up a “Protect Structure and Windows” window asks for an optional password. Just insert the password or leave it blank, then hit OK and close the screen. In this way, you can’t type anything in the workbook but still can view it.

protect workbook structure Excel 2010

Case 2. How to Password Protect All Cells in Sheet

How to protect cells in Excel 2010 from editing? If your wish it to protect all cells in a specific worksheet, then you can protect it by selecting one of these ways:

(1) “File” -> “Info” -> “Protect Workbook” -> “Protect Current Sheet”.

protect current sheet

(2) “Menus” -> “Tools” -> “Protection” -> “Protect Sheet”.

(3) “Review” -> “Protect Sheet”.


After that, in the pop-up “Protect Sheet” window, you can choose to type the password to unprotect sheet or leave it blank. And then check the options to what you allow all users of this worksheet to do. It you type the password; in the next time you will have to insert the correct password in order to edit it. Finally click OK button to save and exit the screen.

protect sheet

Part 2. How to Lock Certain Cells in Excel 2010

How to protect cells in excel 2010 without protecting sheet? If you make a decision to lock specific cells in Excel from being edited, try to follow these steps:

Step 1. To begin with, you have to un-protect all the cells on your sheet. Just choose all of the rows and columns in the sheet. Follow the steps in Part 1 and then click “Locked” option in the “Format Cells” screen.

Step 2. Choose the certain cells and then right-click on the pop-up options, select “Format Cells” and continue.


2. In the new window of “Format Cells…”, select “Protection” tab and uncheck “locked” option and then click OK button and exit the screen.

format cells

3. In order to let the locked cells take effect, you need to protect the worksheet as well. Just click on the “Review” tab from the toolbar at the top of the screen. Then tap on the “Protect Sheet” button.


4. It will appear a “Protect Sheet” window, click to check the “Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells” box, and type the password to unprotect sheet. After that, you are unlocking Excel 2010 cells successfully.

protect sheet

Now when you open this spreadsheet, it will prompt as below:

protect cells

 input password

Bottom Line

Done! So that’s all the information I can provide to password protect cells in Microsoft Office Excel 2010 worksheet. The bottom line is that it is virtually impossible to 100% protect the contents of your workbook so that they could not be edited or viewed. Using the protection features of Excel makes it more difficult, but a determined user could still unlock the contents with an Excel password unlock tool, such as SmartKey Excel Password Recovery, which is a professional program to unlock encrypted Excel file and support all Excel versions.

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