How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets

Google Sheets are used to manage sensitive information either personal or business-related. We can use Google Sheets to record the employees’ data and the student’s results cards. All this information is sensitive and supposed to be kept secure.

To make sure that this information is not accessible by any unauthorized user, Google Sheets provide the feature of locking the cells. The lock cell feature of Google Sheets also prevents accidental changes in the data bu the owner of the spreadsheet.  

This blog will help to understand the method of locking the cells in Google Sheets. The method will be explained step-by-step with a demonstration of the example. 

How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets?

There are six simple steps to lock the cells in Google Sheets:

  • Select the cell or cells which are supposed to lock
  • Right-click on the selected cells and choose “Protect sheets and ranges” from the appearing drop-down menu
  • If the above option is not visible in the drop-down menu, then choose “View more cell actions” and then click on the “Protect range” option.
  • A menu of “Protected sheets and ranges” will be open, select the range and then click on “Set permissions”.
  • A dialog box of “Range editing permissions” will be displayed with two options to be set. One is to display the warning message when someone is going to edit these lock cells and another is to specify the users who can unlock the cells. 

Another way to lock the cells is to select the cells range, then click on “Data” in the top menu bar, then choose the “Protect sheet and ranges” option from the drop-down menu to set the permissions.

Example: Lock Cells in Google Sheets

An example is to be considered to demonstrate the steps of locking the cells explained above. We have a Google Sheet with the name “Student Results” having the result information of the students:

By following the steps explained in the above section, we will lock the column of “Marks” to restrict the other users from making changes to it. 

Step 1: Open the “Protected sheets and ranges” in Google Sheets

Two different methods are explained in the above section to open the “Protected sheets and ranges”, among which one is to select the cell or cells supposed to be locked:

Now click on “Data” in the top menu bar:

A drop-down menu will appear, click on the “Protect sheets and ranges” option:

A menu of the “Protected sheets and ranges” has been opened:

Another way to open the “Protected sheets and ranges” is to right-click on the selected cells, then choose “View more cell actions”. Another drop-down menu will open, choose the “Protect range” option:

The “Protected sheets and ranges” menu has been opened:

Step 2: Customize the “Protected sheets and ranges” in Google Sheets

When the “Protected sheets and ranges” menu opens, specify the range of the cells which are supposed to be locked. Now there are two options for specifying the cells to be locked:

  • Click on the “Range” and specify the cell’s range to lock them
  • Another option is to lock the complete sheet, and for this first, click on “Sheet”. Then choose the “Sheet” which is supposed to be locked:

You can select the complete sheet without some specified cells by checking the “Except certain cells” option.

Step 3: “Set permissions” on Google Sheets

After choosing the cells which are supposed to be locked, click on “Set permissions”:

A dialog box will appear with “Range editing permissions” with two options, either to show the warning or restrict who can edit the lock cells:

If the option “Show a warning when editing this range” is chosen, it will show a warning message when someone tries to make changes in the lock cells:

Another way is to choose the “Restrict who can edit this range” to specify only trusted people to make changes in the locked cells:

When the users are added, click on “Done” to save the settings for locking the cells. 

How to Disable the Locc Cells Feature in Google Sheets?

To unlock the cells, select the locked cells, click on “Data” in the menu bar, and then “Protected sheets and cells” to open it:

Click on the rules defined and then click on the bin icon to delete the defined rules:

The cells have been unlocked successfully in Google Sheets. 

Conclusion

To lock the cells in Google Sheets, select the range of cells, and then click on “Data” in the menu bar. Choose the “Protected sheets and ranges” and set the permissions. This blog will explain all the steps which are to be followed to lock the cells in Google Sheets.