Article ID: 214081 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

This article describes how to lock individual cells in a Microsoft Excel worksheet. The procedure to use depends on whether you want the majority of the cells on the worksheet to remain locked or unlocked.

NOTE: If you lock a cell and protect the worksheet, then you cannot type data into the cell, modify the data currently in the cell, or change other attributes of the cell (such as cell formatting).

MORE INFORMATION

To unlock individual cells in an Excel worksheet, use either of the following procedures.

If You Want the Majority of Cells Locked

To lock the majority of the cells on the worksheet, follow these steps:
  1. Select the cells that you want to remain unprotected. To select nonadjacent (noncontiguous) cells, hold down CTRL and click the cells that are to remain unprotected.
  2. In versions of Excel previous to 2007, on the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Protection tab. On Excel 2007 or later, show the format cells dialog box by clicking the Expand button to the bottom right of the Font section of the Home ribbon, and then click Protection tab.
  3. Click to clear the Locked check box and click OK.
  4. In versions of Excel previous to 2007, on the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Protect Sheet. In Excel 2007 or later, click the Review tab, and click Protect Sheet. Type a password if you want one, and then click OK.

If You Want the Majority of Cells Unlocked

To leave the majority of the cells on the worksheet unlocked, follow these steps:
  1. Select the entire worksheet by clicking the Select All button (the gray rectangle in the upper-left corner of the worksheet where the row 1 and column A headings meet), or by pressing CTRL+A or CTRL+SHIFT+SPACEBAR.
  2. In versions of Excel previous to 2007, on the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Protection tab. On Excel 2007 or later, show the format cells dialog box by clicking the Expand button to the bottom right of the Font section of the Home ribbon, and then click Protection tab. Click to clear the Locked check box and click OK.
  3. Select the cells that you want to protect. To select nonadjacent (noncontiguous) cells, hold down CTRL and click the cells that you want to protect.
  4. Return to the Format Cells dialog box, and then click the Protection tab. Click to select the Locked check box, and then click OK.
  5. In versions of Excel previous to 2007, on the Tools menu, point to Protection, and then click Protect Sheet. In Excel 2007 or later, click the Review tab, and click Protect Sheet. Type a password, if you want one, and then click OK.

REFERENCES

For more information about locking cells and protecting worksheets, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type lock cells in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

For additional information about using passwords, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
189126 Microsoft's Policy Regarding Missing or Invalid Passwords
For additional information about locking cells and protecting worksheets, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
264372 XL2000: Controlling and Understanding Settings in the Format Cells Dialog Box
211710 XL2000: Cells in a Protected Worksheet May Become Unmerged
214337 XL2000: Some Cells in Worksheet Not Selected Using TAB or SHIFT+TAB
213661 XL2000: Unlocked Cells Not Underlined with Protection Enabled

Properties

Article ID: 214081 - Last Review: February 15, 2012 - Revision: 5.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB214081

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