Protect Sheet in Excel

Protecting Excel Sheet

Protect worksheet is a feature in excel when we do not want any other user to make changes in our worksheet, it is available in the review tab of excel, it has various features where we can allow users to perform some tasks but not make changes such as they can select cells to use auto filter but cannot make any changes to the structure, also it is recommended to protect a worksheet with a password.

An excel worksheet that is protected using a password and/or has the cells in the worksheet locked for preventing any changes in the worksheet, known as a Protect Sheet.

Purpose of a Protecting sheet with a password

To prevent the unknown users from accidentally or purposely changing, editing, moving, or deleting data in a worksheet, you can lock the cells in the Excel worksheet and then protect an excel sheet with a password.

#1 How to Protect a Sheet in Excel?

Below are the steps of protecting sheet in excel –

  1. Open the worksheet you wish to protect then, Right-click on the worksheet or Go to Review – Protect Sheet. The option lies in the ‘Changes’ group then, click on ‘Protect Sheet’ from the list of options displayed.

    Protect sheet Example 1

  2. It will prompt you to enter a password.

    Protect sheet Example 1-1

  3. Enter the password of your choice.

    Protect sheet Example 1-2

  4. The section below displays a list of options that you can allow the users of the worksheet to perform. Every action has a checkbox. Check those actions you wish to allow the users of the worksheet to perform.

    Protect sheet Example 1-3

  5. By default, if no action is checked, the users will only be able to VIEW the file and not perform any updates. Click on OK.

    Protect sheet Example 1-4

  6. Re-enter the password as prompted on the second screen then, Click on OK.

    Protect sheet Example 1-5

#2 How to Protect Cells in an Excel Worksheet?

To protect cells in excel, follow the steps given below:

  • Step 1: Right, click on the excel cell you wish to protect then, Select ‘Format Cells’ from the menu displayed.
Protect sheet Example 2
  • Step 2: Go to the tab named ‘Protection.’
Protect sheet Example 2-1
  • Step 3: Check ‘Locked’ if you wish to lock the cell in excel. This will prevent the cell from any editing, and the content can only be viewed. Check ‘Hidden’ if you wish to hide the cell. This will hide the cell and so the content.
Protect sheet Example 2-2

#3 How to Hide the Formula Associated with a Cell?

  • Step 1: As shown below, cell F2 has a formula associated with it. D2+E2 = F2.
Example 3
  • Step 2: Below shows that the excel cell is protected as Locked and Hidden as both the options are checked.
sheet Example 3-1
  • Step 3: As a result, the formula is hidden / not visible in the formula bar, as shown below.
Example 3-2
  • Step 4: Upon unprotecting the sheet, the formula also starts appearing in the formula bar, as shown below.
Example 3-3


  1. A protected excel sheet with a password is used to keep the sensitive information secured from unwanted changes done by unauthorized entities.
  2. Excel Worksheet Cell Actions are access controlled. Meaning, they can be configured so as to be available for some users and not to the others.


  • If you protect an excel sheet with a password and if it is forgotten, it is non-recoverable. Meaning, there is no automated or manual way of resetting or recovering the old password. This can cause data loss.

Things to Remember

  1. The password of the Protect Sheet is case-sensitive.
  2. The password of the Protected Sheet is non-recoverable.
  3.  If no actions are checked in the Protect Sheet dialog window, the default accessibility is View. It means the others will only be able to view the protected worksheet and will not be able to add new data or make any changes to it the cells in the worksheet.
  4. Protecting the sheet is mandatory if one wished to protect the cells as Locked or Hidden.
  5. If the sheet is unprotected in ExcelSheet Is Unprotected In ExcelOnce the workbook has been password-protected, one must input the exact password that was entered while protecting the workbook in order to unprotect more, all the formatting/locking associated with the cells would be overridden/gone.
  6. Locking a cell in excel prevents it from making any changes.
  7. Hiding a cell hides the formula associated with it, making it invisible in the formula bar.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Protect Sheet in Excel. Here we discuss how to Protect Sheet in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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