How To Lock Formulas In Google Sheets

Whether you are an accountant, data analyst, or just someone who extensively uses Google Sheets, you must have come across the need to lock certain formulas to prevent unintentional alterations. The good news is that Google Sheets provides a way to lock your formulas. This blog post will guide you through the simple steps of how to lock formulas in Google Sheets.

Understanding Cell Protection

Before we dive into the process, it’s important to understand that Google Sheets doesn’t explicitly provide a way to lock formulas. However, we can achieve this by using the cell protection feature. This feature restricts other users from editing the cells you have protected, essentially locking the formulas within those cells.

Steps to Lock Formulas

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to lock formulas in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Set up the Formula

First things first, set up your formula. This could be a simple =SUM(A1:A10) formula or a more complex one. The complexity of your formula doesn’t affect the locking process.

Step 2: Select the Cell with the Formula

Next, click on the cell containing the formula you want to lock. If you wish to lock multiple cells, simply hold down the Ctrl key (or Cmd key on Mac) and click on the cells you want to lock.

Step 3: Open the “Protect sheets and ranges” Option

With your cell(s) selected, navigate to the menu bar and select Data > Protect sheets and ranges.

Step 4: Set the Permissions

Once you click on Protect sheets and ranges, a sidebar will appear on the right. Click Set permissions.

"Protect range" window:

1. Click "Set permissions"
2. Choose "Restrict who can edit this range"
3. Select "Only you"
4. Click "Done"

And there you have it! You’ve successfully locked your formula in Google Sheets. Now, only you will be able to edit this cell, effectively locking the formula from other users.


Though Google Sheets does not offer an explicit option to lock formulas, the cell protection feature serves as a great workaround. This feature is exceptionally useful when working on shared sheets where there is a risk of other users accidentally altering your formulas. Now that you know how to lock formulas in Google Sheets, you can ensure the integrity of your data and your peace of mind.