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How to lock cells in Google Sheets

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How to lock cells in Google Sheets

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If you’re using Google Sheets to work on a collaborative project then you’ll understand the frustration of having your work accidentally deleted or altered by another user.

Fortunately, Google Sheets allows you to lock cells, which means editors can still access and edit your spreadsheet but won’t be able to edit any locked cells.

Keep reading to learn how to lock cells in Google Sheets and prevent editors from being able to change your data.

What you’ll need:

  • Google Sheets access and Editing privileges

The short version:

  1. Open your document in Google Sheets
  2. Select the cell or cells you want to lock, then right-click
  3. Hover over View more cell actions
  4. Click Protect range
  5. Select Add a sheet or range
  6. Name or describe your cell then select Set permissions
  7. Confirm your permission preference
  8. Select Done
  1. Step
    1

    Open your document in Google Sheets

    You can either start a new blank document or open an existing document.Google Sheets home page

  2. Step
    2

    Select the cell or cells you want to lock, then right-click

    To select multiple cells, simply press and hold the left mouse button against all the desired cells. Then right-click over the selected cell or cells.Google Sheets right click menu

  3. Step
    3

    Hover over View more cell actions

    Once you right-click, you’ll see a menu. You may need to scroll down to find the View more cell actions option.Google Sheets right click menu with view more cell actions highlighted

  4. Step
    4

    Click Protect range

    After hovering over View more cell actions, click on Protect range. A side panel will then appear.Google Sheets right click menu with Protect range highlighted

  5. Step
    5

    Select Add a sheet or range

    The previous step will bring up this side panel. Google Sheets Protect sheets and ranges side panel open

  6. Step
    6

    Name or describe your cell, then select Set permissions

    Naming the cell is optional but useful if you want to lock multiple cells for different users. Otherwise you can skip this and go straight for Set permissions.Locking a cell on Google Sheets

  7. Step
    7

    Confirm your permission preference

    Here you can choose who can edit the cell. You can set it as ‘only you’ or, by choosing Custom, you can choose which users are able to edit the cell. Edit editing permissions when locking a cell on Google Sheets

  8. Step
    8

    Select Done

    Your choices will be saved.Select Done on Google Sheets

Troubleshooting

How do I edit locked cell permissions?

To edit existing locked cell permissions, select Data on the top menu panel. Then Protect Sheets and ranges, which will bring up the side panel that lists all the locked cells. Choose which one you would like to edit and select Change permissions.

Can I lock cells on my smartphone?

Unfortunately, you can only lock cells by using a computer.

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