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Excel Security | How to lock cells in excel | Protect Sheet

Maintaining the integrity of an excel file that has to be shared with peers is a challenging job. Earlier versions of MS excel had a password feature but they were widely criticised because they were pretty easy to crack. However, the latest versions have fortified the security and password features to protect your file from external attacks and alterations. In this feature, we will run you through some super simple tips on password setups and improve excel security.

1. How to lock cells in excel.

Select the cells that you want to lock.

Go to Home Tab > Cell group and click on Format.

Select Lock Cell under the protection tab.

Select cells that you want to lock go to Home tab then format and then select lock cell for Excel SecurityAgain go to Cell group and under Format, select Protect Sheet and then enter the password to unlock.

Again go to cell group and under format then select protect sheet - excel SecurityYou can get the option of Protect Sheet from the Review Tab of the bar as well. Rest of the procedure remains the same.

you can also get the option of protect sheet from the review tab rest of the procedure remains the same - Excel Security

2. Hiding the Formulas

If you want that the formulas that you have inserted should remain hidden and protected then follow these easy steps:

  1. Select the cells that have formula based result
  2. Go to Cell group on the bar and select Format
  3. Select Format Cells from the dropdown list.
  4. Tick the Hidden option in the dialogue box and click on

If you want that formulas that you have inserted should remain hidden and protected - Excel Security 

 3. Using Selective Lock

Sometimes you may have to share a file that allows the user to only input data. In other scenarios, you should be able to let them only delete them.

Here is a very simple way of managing excel security.

  1. Go to the Cell group in the bar and select
  2. From the drop-down list, select Protect Sheet
  3. A dialogue box will open which will give you an option of choosing various rights for the users and you can check them according to your need.

Sometimes you may have to share a file that allows the user to only input data. In other scenarios, you should be able to let them only delete them - Excel Security

4. Protecting Workbook Structure

Instead of the worksheet and its elements, if it is the entire workbook that you are looking to secure then excel provides that option as well. Just follow these simple tips and guiding images.

  1. Click on Review tab and select Protect Workbook option
  2. A dialogue box will appear, tick Structure option
  3. If you want a stringent control and prevent other users from removing workbook protection, define a password for it as well.

Instead of the worksheet and its elements, if it is the entire workbook that you are looking to secure then excel provides that option as well Excel Security

This tip will not allow viewing hidden columns, adding , deleting or moving worksheets and showing source data for pivot tables thereby improving excel security.

5. Sharing locked Workbook- Improving Excel Security

When you have locked or protected the sheet, sharing has to be enabled. When you click on the share work book on a file with locked sheet a dialogue box appears to tell you that you need to change the setting to enable sharing. The steps are as follows:

  1. Click on File tab and then select Options.
  2. Select Trust Center button and choose Privacy options.

When you have locked or protected the sheet, sharing has to be enabled - Excel Security

  1. Under Document Specific Settings, uncheck Remove Personal Information from File properties on Save and then select Ok.

under Document Specific settings, uncheck Remove Personal information from file properties on save

Now you can freely share the workbook and if you still want to exercise control in respect to the content then select Protect and Share workbook option in Review.

In the resulting dialog box, you have an option of giving Password as well as tracking changes.

Now you can freely share the workbook and if you still want to exercise control in respect to the content then select Protect and Share workbook option in Review

I hope you like our blog “Password and Security in Microsoft Excel”, do share it with your friend and colleagues. Want to learn more about Excel? Check out yodalearning’s effortless Advanced Excel Tutorials and also the impressive Free online Excel Courses.

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About the author

Priyanka Rele

Earnest blogger| Professional content developer | Compulsive shopper | Huge sitcom addict. If you don't find me typing away at my computer, then I might just be catching up on a latest book, or travelling extensively. I think there is nothing that cannot be explained in words, so my passion for writing quiet easily turned into my career!

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