The Locked Cells functionality allows you to “lock” a cell, range of cells, or sheet from being modified on a spreadsheet. You can confidently collaborate on spreadsheets without the worrying about your complex formulas or formatting won’t accidentally be modified by your team.
How to lock/unlock cells
1) To lock a cell or cells on a spreadsheet highlight the cell/cells you would like to lock.
2) Next Right Click to open the spreadsheet menu > Lock/Unlock Cells > Lock Selection.
If you would like to unlock already locked cells first highlight the cell/cells you would like to unlock. Then Right Click to open the spreadsheet menu > Lock/Unlock Cells > Unlock Selection. You can also access the Lock/Unlock Cells from the data menu in the format bar.
When you click into a locked cell it will have blue lines to indicate the cell is locked and can’t be edited.
So what exactly does it mean for a cell to be “locked”? Good question!
If a cell is locked, users will not be able to:
- Apply formatting to locked cell
- You are still able to adjust column width and row height. Also, cell borders can be applied to locked cells
- Delete the locked cell
- Hide/unhide/freeze/unfreeze row/columns that include a locked cell
- Move a row/column that includes a locked cell
- If filter range includes a locked cell - user is unable to use filter and should see error when attempting to apply filter
- Filter Views will behave normally as though all cells are unlocked
- Sorting a range that includes a locked cell
1) To lock the entire spreadsheet (including all tabs for spreadsheets with multiple tabs) go to Spreadsheet > Advanced > Lock Edits.
When a spreadsheet is locked you will see Edits Disabled in blue at the top of the spreadsheet.
If you would like to unlock the spreadsheet click Edits Disabled in the blue in the top left and the Unlock Edits.
If a spreadsheet is locked, users will not be able to:
- Make edits of any kind (i.e. formatting, formulas, filters)
- Add/remove rows or columns
- Add/remove tabs
How to lock/unlock a tab of a spreadsheet
1) To lock a tab on a spreadsheet click the arrow next to the sheet name and then Lock.
When an individual sheet is locked you will see a lock symbol next to the sheet name.
To unlock a locked tab click the arrow and then Unlock.
If a tab is locked, users will not be able to:
- Make edits of any kind to the locked tab (i.e. formatting, formulas, filters)
- Add/remove rows or columns on the locked tab
Who can lock/unlock cells
Anyone with full access or edit access on the spreadsheet/document can lock or unlock the cells, regardless of who created the spreadsheet. To prevent any changes to the spreadsheet you can adjust the sharing settings to Can Comment or Can View. For more information on sharing and granular permissions click here.