How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets to Protect Your Data

In this article, we intend to explain how to lock cells in google sheets. If you are a novice Google Sheet user, the tips mentioned in this article would be really handy. So, read this article through the end. Here are fixes on how to delete header in Google docs or how to freeze a row in Google sheets for you too.

As a Google Sheets user, you know how important it is to maintain proper security measures. The data on the spreadsheets you are using can be really sensitive. A single change of data can result in a devastating outcome. Some of the data changes are accidental, and some of them are on purpose. Since Google Sheets are meant to be shared with multiple people, deletion of data can take place either way. Regardless of that, it is your duty to assure the protection of your data. Luckily, Google Spreadsheet comes with a feature to lock the data so no one can edit it. In other words, you can lock cells in Google Sheets. If you are interested in learning how to lock cells in google sheets, read on.

Also, get to know the easy ways to save images from Google Docs and Strikethrough in Google Docs.

Why should you learn how to lock cells in google sheets?

If you need to control the overall access to Google Spreadsheets, you can consider using the permissions. By granting the permission or not, you can decide who can edit or view the spreadsheet. Your Google Sheets cannot be viewed unless you share them with the intended person. Those who can view them cannot edit them unless you grant permission to do so.

This tutorial intends to teach you the way you can control the editing of the spreadsheet. Before we learn how to lock cells in google sheets, however, let’s see the requirement of doing so.

In general, many of the Google Sheets come with input cells. In this case, you set variables and others formulas on cells. The output of the spreadsheet depends solely on the calculations placed on those cells. So, single deletion of data on a cell can change the whole output of the spreadsheet. Therefore, it is understandable the importance of protecting the cells.

Well, if you intend to share the Google Sheet with a large number of users, you should be careful. You can take the necessary precautions to lock the key cells of the sheet and keep the formulas unharmed. Such an approach will make sure that cells aren’t modified intentionally or unintentionally. Considering this fact, you should understand that it is inevitable to lock the cells before sharing the spreadsheet.

How to protect your Google Sheets

In this section of the article, let’s get an idea about the essential techniques used to protect cells. In fact, there are two main methods to protect the cells.

Depending on your requirement, you can either protect the cells or ranges. This can be highly useful when you need to let someone use your spreadsheet, but you don’t want modifications.

If not, you can even protect the entire spreadsheet as well. Such an approach would let other users just see the spreadsheet. Also, you can let them edit only the specific cells.

Now let’s take a look at on how to lock cells in google sheets

In some cases, you will have to look for a way to lock some of the cells only. Instead of locking the entire spreadsheet, this can be handy in order to protect the cells with key information. Mentioned below is how to do it.

As the first step, you should identify and highlight the cell or cells you need to protect. Thereafter, you should go to the option labeled “Data” on the menu bar. From the appearing drop-down menu, select the option called “Protected Sheets and Ranges“.

As a smart spreadsheet user, it is better to name the protected ranges in the sidebar. In the sidebar, you can set a name easily, and it will give you an idea about the cells. Click on the option called “Set Permissions

Then, you should choose the restriction options. To do this, you should go to “Restrict who can edit this range“. Then, select the option “Only you” so no one can edit them. However, if you need to let someone else edit the cells, just go to the custom option. You can then define who can edit the cells.

How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets

Warning signs before editing cells

If you don’t want to edit some of the cells totally, you can add a warning sign. The warning sign will appear before someone edit the cells. So, the editing option will remain unchanged, but a warning will appear beforehand. As a result, the user will edit the cells with better responsibility.

To add a warning sign to edit the cells, you should follow the previous process up to editing permissions. When you reach the editing permissions, select the option “Show a warning“. Then, press the option “Done“.

As a result, when the cells are edited, the respective person will notice warning. However, even if you see the warning, you can edit the cells. In fact, this approach is called soft restriction because it doesn’t totally prevent you from editing the cells. It works like a warning that says you should edit it only when necessary. You can use this option to make only the experts edit the cells with responsibility.

Protecting Google Sheets

Now you have a good idea about protecting the individual cells in your Google Sheets. Well, it is better to take a look at how to protect the whole sheet. With this approach, you can protect the entire spreadsheet and leave some cells to be edited. This is exactly the opposite of what we explained in the previous part.

To protect the entire Google Sheet, you should go to the Data menu on the menu bar. Then, you should go to the “Protected sheets and ranges” menu. In this process, you don’t need to select any of the cells before setting restrictions. To do this, you should click on Sheet and then select the sheet you intend to protect.

Protecting Google Sheets

Then, you have applied the permissions to protect the entire sheet. No one can change the data unless you allow them to do so. If someone tries to edit the protected cells, they will be notified with an error message.

Adding exceptions

Now that the entire sheet is protected, you can let users edit some of the cells if needed. To do this, you should first protect the entire sheet and then define the cells that can be edited. To do that, you should go to the “Data” menu and select “Protected Sheets & Ranges“. Then, from the available options, you should select the option “Except Certain Cells“.

You can also add several ranges simply by selecting the “Add another range” option. Once you are done, you can click on “Set Permissions“.

Conclusion on Lock Cells in Google Sheets

As you may know, spreadsheets play a vital part in your official work on a daily basis. So, learning how to deal with an online tool like Google Sheets is vital for any person. Essential features like how to lock cells in google sheets and to protect an online document are handy, for instance. We hope this article helped you in some way or another. Good luck!