How to Lock a Cell in Excel 2010

Some Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheets can be more complicated than others. Very involved worksheets can include a combination of formulas and information that is very complex, and even slight changes to certain cells could lead to disastrous occurrences for the rest of the data on the sheet. If you have finalized such a complex worksheet and want to ensure that particularly important data is not altered, then you need to learn how to lock a cell in Excel 2010. Excel provides you with the option of locking each cell individually, which leaves the rest of the worksheet open for potential edits by yourself or anyone else with editing permissions for your workbook.

 

Locking a Single Cell in Excel 2010

 

Many people select the option of locking their entire workbook or worksheet, which is a much more thorough way of locking down the data in your Excel file. However, in many cases, that sort of total change can be counterproductive if changes still need to be made. That is why Excel 2010’s inclusion of the single-cell locking feature is so helpful.

Step 1: Begin by opening your Excel 2010 workbook that contains the cell you want to lock.

Step 2: Click the cell(s) that contains the data you DO NOT want to lock.

Step 3: Right-click one of the selected cells, then click Format Cells.

format cells from excel shortcut menu

 

Step 4: Click the Protection tab at the top of the window, clear the check mark to the left of Locked, then click the OK button.

how to lock a cell in excel 2010

 

 

Step 5: Click the Home tab at the top of the window.

excel home tab

 

Step 6: Click the Format drop-down menu in the Cells section of the ribbon at the top of the window.

click format in the cells section

 

Step 7: Click the Protect Sheet option at the bottom of the menu.

protect excel 2010 sheet

 

Step 6: Type a password that will be needed to edit or unlock the locked cell(s) into the field at the top of the window, then click the OK button at the top of the window. By default, viewers of your worksheet will only be able to view and select your locked cells. However, you can check additional options on this window if you also want to allow them to make other changes.

set password for excel 2010 sheet

 

Step 7: Re-enter your password to confirm, then click OK.

 

If you decide that you want to make any changes to a cell that is currently locked, you will need to use the Unprotect Sheet option from the Format menu, make the change, then go back and reset a new password for the sheet.

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