How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets

Learn to protect specific sets of cells in Google Sheets. This skill will give you greater control when making calculations, analyzing data, and sharing spreadsheets with other users.

Table of Contents
  1. Steps 1-3: Select range
  2. Steps 4-5: Set access permissions
Table of contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
  1. Steps 1-3: Select range
  2. Steps 4-5: Set access permissions

In one of our previous tutorials, we learned how to protect our spreadsheets and lock certain sheets in Google Sheets. We will now learn how to lock individual cells and ranges in Google Sheets.

Step 1: Select the cell or the range of cells to lock. 

Selected range of cells.
Selected range of cells.

Step 2: Right click on the selected range. A long list of options will appear. Select Protect range

Selected range. Pop-up options after right-clicking on the range. Protect range option highlighted.
Selected range. Pop-up options after right-clicking on the range. Protect range option highlighted.

Step 3: A sidebar will appear on the right side of Google Sheets with title Protected sheets & ranges

Protected Sheets & ranges sidebar. Range tab selected. The range of the selected cells already added.
Protected Sheets & ranges sidebar. Range tab selected. The range of the selected cells already added.

As you can notice on the sidebar, the range is already specified in the range under the Range tab. 

Step 4: Click Set permissions. A pop-up box will appear, giving you the options for protecting the range:

  • Show a warning when editing this range - the user accessing the sheet can still edit it after a warning is shown
A prompt to the user when it tries to edit a range where a warning was set.
A prompt to the user when it tries to edit a range where a warning was set.
  • Restrict who can edit this range - only a selected list of users can edit the range:
  • Only you - only the owner of the spreadsheet can edit the specified range. This is what you need to select if you want to lock the cells for everyone else. 
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: Only you option selected.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: Only you option selected.
  • Custom - a selected number of users can be added to have permissions to edit the specified range. In the box, type the email address, then type space to separate the entries.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: custom option selected. A box appears where you can add the email addresses.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: custom option selected. A box appears where you can add the email addresses.

Step 5: Click Done.

The selected range of cells is now locked for editing. 

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July 17, 2021

How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets

Google Sheet spreadsheet

In one of our previous tutorials, we learned how to protect our spreadsheets and lock certain sheets in Google Sheets. We will now learn how to lock individual cells and ranges in Google Sheets.

Step 1: Select the cell or the range of cells to lock. 

Selected range of cells.
Selected range of cells.

Step 2: Right click on the selected range. A long list of options will appear. Select Protect range

Selected range. Pop-up options after right-clicking on the range. Protect range option highlighted.
Selected range. Pop-up options after right-clicking on the range. Protect range option highlighted.

Step 3: A sidebar will appear on the right side of Google Sheets with title Protected sheets & ranges

Protected Sheets & ranges sidebar. Range tab selected. The range of the selected cells already added.
Protected Sheets & ranges sidebar. Range tab selected. The range of the selected cells already added.

As you can notice on the sidebar, the range is already specified in the range under the Range tab. 

Step 4: Click Set permissions. A pop-up box will appear, giving you the options for protecting the range:

  • Show a warning when editing this range - the user accessing the sheet can still edit it after a warning is shown
A prompt to the user when it tries to edit a range where a warning was set.
A prompt to the user when it tries to edit a range where a warning was set.
  • Restrict who can edit this range - only a selected list of users can edit the range:
  • Only you - only the owner of the spreadsheet can edit the specified range. This is what you need to select if you want to lock the cells for everyone else. 
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: Only you option selected.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: Only you option selected.
  • Custom - a selected number of users can be added to have permissions to edit the specified range. In the box, type the email address, then type space to separate the entries.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: custom option selected. A box appears where you can add the email addresses.
Range editing permissions. Restrict who can edit this range: custom option selected. A box appears where you can add the email addresses.

Step 5: Click Done.

The selected range of cells is now locked for editing. 

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