How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets Formulas (The Easy Way!)

In this article we will show you how to lock cells in Google Sheets formulas. This is important to keep your formula working once you copy the cell containing it down a column or along a row. Just follow the simple steps below:

How to Lock a Cell in a Google Sheets Formula

Step 1: Identify which parts of your formula should be locked

For our example, we want to calculate the weighted score given the following data:

Google Sheets lock formula cell, original sheet

The formula is

Weighted score = ( 0.40 * Column A ) + ( 0.25 * Column B ) + ( 0.35 * Column C )

We can “hard-code” the weights of each column but we want to have flexibility of being able to change their weights when needed, thus storing the weights at different cells. We store 0.40 at B2, 0.25 at C2, and 0.35 at D2. 

Step 2: Add the formula to a selected cell

We will start with the first entry which is in Row 3. The specific formula is


We place this formula in E3, along the column labeled Weighted Score.

Lock cell in formula Google Sheets, original formula added

Step 3: Lock the selected parts by adding the dollar sign ($)

Start clicking at the formula to add dollar signs on the cells that should be locked. For our example it should look like as follows:


One way to add dollar signs ($) is to click at the equation bar and then insert the dollar signs at the right cells:

Google Sheets lock formula cell, how to insert dollar sign to lock cell in formula

Step 4: Press Enter

The result is:

How to lock cells in formula Google Sheets, formula with lock cell result shown

When you copy the formula by dragging down cell, you will get the formulas correctly copied:

Lock cells in Google Sheets formula, formula with lock cells copied to other cells

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