How To Lock Columns In Excel

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This element within Excel allows others to enter or edit information into all other cells except those locked. Hiding or locking cells has no effect at all on the Worksheet until you protect the Worksheet.

When sharing projects among several team members, sometimes it is necessary to lock certain cells within the Worksheet to ensure the data isn’t deleted or changed. When the Worksheet is shared, the team member will be able to adjust all unlocked cells; however, the locked cells will remain the same.

The Worksheet Has Already Been Protected

If the Worksheet has already been protected, the first step is to unprotect it by clicking the REVIEW tab within the Ribbon and selecting Unprotect Sheet. You might have to enter a password if the Worksheet was protected with one originally.

How To Lock Columns In Excel 1

  1. Select the whole Worksheet by clicking on the select all arrow in the top left of the Worksheet (highlighted in the picture above).
  2. Right-click anywhere and select FORMAT CELLS from the menu options or from the HOME Tab to click the small arrow at the bottom right of the Font box, or you can simply enter (Control + Shift + F) to have the Format Cells box open.
  3. In the PROTECTION Tab of the Format Cells box, uncheck Lock Cells and click OK to complete unlock all cells within the Worksheet so you can designate the specific cells within the Worksheet that you want to lock.

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  1. How To Lock Columns In Excel 2
  2. Now, back on the Worksheet, select the column(s) that you would like to Lock. Open the Format Cells box again and this time click to put a checkmark back in the Locked checkbox.
  3. Go back to the REVIEW tab and select PROTECT THIS WORKSHEET.
  4. A dialog box will pop up asking if you would like to password protect the Worksheet, and there are numerous elements that you can either allow or disallow users to do within the Worksheet. The first two elements are selected by default:
  5. Select lock cells – allow users to select cells that are locked but do not allow changes or deletion
  6. Select unlock cells – allow users to select and make changes within all unlocked cells.
  7. All other elements are related to formatting, sorting, inserting/deleting columns and rows, and not selecting by default.

Once you click OK, the Worksheet will now be protected.

  1. If someone attempts to make changes into a locked cell, the following message will pop up on the screen.
How To Lock Columns In Excel To Unlock Columns

You will need to begin by un-protecting the Sheet under the Review tab. Select the column you have locked and bring up the Format Cells box. Under the PROTECTION tab once again, unclick the Locked checkbox.


How To Lock Columns In Excel

Locking cells could also be beneficial at a networking event where each member could enter their information into a worksheet as shown to the left. Column A could be locked in place to ensure that no changes are made; however, members could easily enter their information under each column.

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