How To To Lock Cells In Excel

Whether you’re using Excel to track business finances, manage a project, or collect personal data, there’s a good chance you don’t want anyone else to accidentally alter certain cells. What you need is a way to lock cells in Excel. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process.

Getting Started

First, it’s important to understand that in Excel, all cells are locked by default. However, this lock only becomes effective once you protect the worksheet. So, the process of locking cells involves two primary steps:

  1. Selecting and locking the cells
  2. Protecting the worksheet

Step 1: Select and Lock cells

To lock cells in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Open your Excel Worksheet.
  • Select the cells that you want to lock. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse across the cells.
  • Next, right-click on the selected cells and select the Format Cells option from the context menu. This will open the Format Cells dialog box.
  • Go to the Protection tab. Here, you’ll see the Locked option checked by default. If it’s not, make sure to check it, then click OK.

Step 2: Protect the Worksheet

After locking the cells, you need to protect your worksheet to activate the lock. To do this:

  • Go to the Review tab on the Excel Ribbon.
  • Click on Protect Sheet in the Changes group.
  • In the Protect Sheet dialog box, you can set a password to unprotect the sheet if you want. Otherwise, just click OK.


Now you know how to lock cells in an Excel worksheet to prevent others from accidentally or intentionally changing important data. Just remember that lock becomes effective only when you protect the worksheet.