What is a protective cell useful for?

Lock cells as protection

For example, suppose your manager wants you to protect an entire workbook, but also wants you to be able to change some cells after you turn on protection for the workbook. Before you enabled password protection, you had unlocked some cells in the workbook. After your manager finishes the workbook, you can lock these cells.

To lock cells on a worksheet, do the following:

  1. Check the cells you want to lock.

  2. click on the Home tab in the group Alignment click the little arrow to bring up the pop-up window Cells format to open.

  3. Activate on the Protection tab that Check box Locked, and then click OK, to close the popup.

    Note: If you try to follow these steps on an unprotected workbook or worksheet, the cells are already locked. That means the cells will be locked as soon as you protect the workbook or worksheet.

  4. In the ribbon, select the tab Check in the group Changes either Protect sheet or Protect workbook then reapply protection. For more information, see Protect a Worksheet or Protect a Workbook.

    Tip: It is recommended that you unlock the cells you want to change before protecting a worksheet or workbook, but you can unlock them after you have applied the protection. To remove protection, simply remove the password.

In addition to protecting workbooks and worksheets, you can also protect formulas.

Excel for the web cannot lock cells or specific areas of a worksheet.

If you want to lock cells or protect specific areas, click on In Excel Open and lock cells to protect them or to lock or unlock specific areas of a protected worksheet.

Do you need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community or get support in the Answers Community.

See also

Lock or unlock specific areas of a protected worksheet

Protect a worksheet

Protect a workbook

Show or hide formulas