Lock Cells


You can lock cells in Excel if you want to protect cells from being edited. In this example, we will lock cell A2.

Lock Cells Example

Before you start: by default, all cells are locked. However, locking cells has no effect until you protect the worksheet. So when you protect a worksheet, all your cells (=worksheet) will be locked. As a result, if you want to lock a cell, you have to unlock all cells first, lock a cell, and then protect the sheet.

1. Select all cells.

Select All Cells

2. Right click, and then click Format Cells.

3. On the Protection tab, uncheck the Locked check box and click OK.

Unlock Cells

4. Right click cell A2, and then click Format Cells.

5. On the Protection tab, check the Locked check box and click OK.

Lock Cell

Note: if you also check the Hidden check box, users cannot see the formula in the formula bar when they select cell A2.

6. Protect the sheet.

Cell A2 is locked now. To edit cell A2, you have to unprotect the sheet. The password for the downloadable Excel file is "easy". You can still edit all other cells.