How To Lock Rows In Google Sheets

Google Sheets is one of the most versatile and user-friendly spreadsheet programs available today. Among the many features it offers, one that is particularly useful in maintaining data integrity is the ability to lock rows. Unfortunately, locking rows isn’t as straightforward as it is in other spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel. Nevertheless, it’s still possible and this guide will show you how to do it.

Understand the Google Sheets Permission Levels

Before we delve into how to lock rows in Google Sheets, it’s important to understand the different permission levels Google Sheets offers. This is because protecting data in Google Sheets is all about adjusting these permission levels.

  • Can Edit: This is the highest level of access. Users can make any changes including adding, deleting, and modifying data.
  • Can Comment: Users can add comments to the spreadsheet but cannot make any changes to the data.
  • Can View: This is the most restrictive level. Users can only view the data but cannot make changes or add comments.

Locking Rows in Google Sheets

Now let’s move on to the actual process of locking rows. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Select the Rows to Protect

Firstly, you need to select the rows you want to lock. You can do this by clicking and dragging the numbers on the left side of the sheet.

For example, to select rows 1 through 5, click on the number 1 and drag down to number 5.

Step 2: Open the Protect Sheets and Ranges Menu

Next, click on Data in the menu bar at the top and select Protect sheets and ranges.

Step 3: Set Permissions

A sidebar will appear on the right. Click on Set Permissions.

Step 4: Choose Restriction Level

A pop-up window will open. Here, you can choose the restriction level you want to apply to the selected rows. For instance, if you want to lock the rows completely, select Can view.

Step 5: Save the Changes

Finally, click on Done to save the changes. Now, the selected rows are locked and protected based on the permission level you chose.

//Sample code snippet to illustrate the process
1. Click and drag to select rows
2. Click on "Data > Protect sheets and ranges"
3. Click on "Set Permissions"
4. Select the desired permission level
5. Click on "Done"

That’s it! You have successfully locked rows in Google Sheets. Just remember that these settings are fluid – you can adjust them at any time as per your needs.


Protecting your data is crucial, especially when you are sharing your Google Sheets with others. While locking rows in Google Sheets involves a few more steps than in other spreadsheet applications, the added control over who can edit your data is well worth the effort. Happy data organizing!