lock cells in google sheets

Google Sheets lets users collaborate on documents online in real-time. However, sometimes there may be projects where you want to protect certain amounts of data. At the same time, you may still want users to edit the rest of the document. One way you can do that is to alter Google Sheets permissions and to lock cells in Google Sheets. This will allow you to use Google Sheets to protect cells you want to preserve.

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How to lock cells in Google Sheets

Here’s how to lock individual cells in Google Sheets.

protect cells google sheets

1. First, select the cell you want to protect in your Google Sheets document.

cell protect range

2. Then, right-click on the cell. A menu should pop up. You should select the Protect range option.

cell set permissions

3. You should see the Protected sheets & ranges option pop up on the right side of the document. You have the option to add a description of the cell you wish to lock, but it’s not required. You also have the option to change the range in the Range selection if you want.

range editing permissions

4. Tap on the Set permissions option. You should see a pop-up selection in the middle of the document. If you want to lock a column in Google Sheets so you can only change it, tap the Done box as that is the default. You have the option to also tap on a selection that will show a warning to anyone else who tries to edit the cell that it is protected.

edit permissions for others

4a. You also have the option to allow certain people to edit the cell by tapping the Only You box, and then select the Custom option. You then can add the editors that are permitted to edit the column. You also have the option to select permissions from already established cells.

How to lock a column in Google Sheets

You may want to lock a column in Google Sheets from being edited by others, and thankfully, that’s easy to do as well

protect column google sheets

1. First, select the column you want to protect in your Google Sheets document.

protect range google sheets

2. Then, right-click on the column. A menu should pop up. You should select the Protect range option.

protected sheets ranges menu

3. You should see the Protected sheets & ranges option pop up on the right side of the document. You have the option to add a description of the column you wish to lock, but it’s not required. You also have the option to change the range in the Range selection if you want.

range editing permissions

4. Tap on the Set permissions option. You should see a pop-up selection in the middle of the document. If you want to lock a column in Google Sheets so you can only change it, tap the Done box as that is the default. You have the option to also tap on a selection that will show a warning to anyone else who tries to edit the column that it is protected.

edit permissions for others

4a. You also have the option to allow certain people to edit the column by tapping the Only You box, and then select the Custom option. You then can add the editors that are permitted to edit the column. You also have the option to select permissions from already established columns.

How to lock rows and non-contiguous cells in Google Sheets

The same technique shown above to lock individual cells and columns can also be used to lock rows in Google Sheets. Simply select the row you want to protect and go through the same steps. One thing you cannot do in Google Sheets is protect a non-contiguous range of cells in one operation. You will have to protect each cell in different operations.

How to protect entire sheets in Google Sheets

protect sheets

It’s also possible to just protect an entire sheet in Google Sheets from being edited by anyone you don’t want to access it.

1. Right-click on the sheets tab you want to protect, and then tap on the Protect sheet option.

protect sheets option

2. You should see the Protected sheets & ranges option pop up on the right side of the document. You have the option to add a description of the sheet you wish to lock, but it’s not required.

sheets certain cells

2a. You also have the option to allow anyone to edit specific ranges in the sheets. Click on the Except certain cells box and then select the cells that you wish for anyone to edit in the sheet.

3. Tap on the Set permissions option. You should see a pop-up selection in the middle of the document. If you want to lock an entire sheet in Google Sheets so you can only change it, tap the Done box as that is the default. You have the option to also tap on a selection that will show a warning to anyone else who tries to edit the column that it is protected.

3a. You also have the option to allow certain people to edit the sheet by tapping the Only You box, and then select the Custom option. You then can add the editors that are permitted to edit the sheet. You also have the option to select permissions from already established sheets.

That’s how you can lock cells in Google Sheets, along with how to lock a column in Google Sheets and how to lock rows in Google Sheets. If Google changes these techniques, we will update the article.

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