How to Make Excel Allow Multiple Users: A Step-by-Step Guide

To make Excel allow multiple users, you will need to store the workbook on a shared network location or cloud service such as OneDrive or SharePoint. Then, enable the shared workbook feature in Excel to allow multiple users to edit the workbook simultaneously.

After completing the action, multiple users will be able to access and edit the Excel workbook at the same time, without locking each other out.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where multiple people need to work on an Excel spreadsheet at the same time? It can be quite a hassle, with users getting locked out or having to wait for others to finish their edits. However, Excel has a nifty feature that allows for collaboration and simultaneous editing by multiple users.

This is especially useful for teams working on shared projects, where data needs to be updated regularly by different team members. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to set up an Excel workbook for multi-user access, discuss the advantages and potential downsides, and offer some additional tips to enhance your collaborative efforts.

Step by Step Tutorial to Make Excel Allow Multiple Users

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that enabling multiple users to work on an Excel workbook involves saving the document in a shared location and turning on the shared workbook feature.

Step 1: Save the Workbook to a Shared Location

The first step to allowing multiple users to access an Excel workbook is to save it to a shared network location, OneDrive, or SharePoint.

Saving the Excel workbook to a shared location ensures that it is accessible to all users who need to collaborate on it. It’s important to ensure that all users have the necessary permissions to access the shared location.

Step 2: Enable Shared Workbook Feature

With the workbook saved in a shared location, go to the ‘Review’ tab in Excel, click on ‘Share Workbook’, and then check the box that says ‘Allow changes by more than one user at the same time’.

Enabling the shared workbook feature allows multiple users to make changes to the workbook simultaneously. This feature also includes a change history that tracks modifications made by different users.

Step 3: Save and Share the Workbook

After enabling the shared workbook feature, save the workbook and communicate to your team members that the file is ready for multi-user editing.

Ensure that all users know where the workbook is saved and how to access it. Communication is key to effective collaboration.


Real-time CollaborationThis allows team members to work on the same document simultaneously, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
Change TrackingExcel’s shared workbook feature includes a change history, which allows users to see who made specific changes, adding accountability to the collaborative process.
No Conflicting CopiesAs users work on a single central file, there’s no need to merge different versions of the document, eliminating confusion and saving time.


Limited FeaturesWhen the shared workbook feature is enabled, certain Excel functions such as table creation and merging cells, may not be available.
Potential Data ConflictsIf multiple users edit the same cell simultaneously, conflicts may arise, which can lead to data loss or errors if not managed properly.
Reliance on NetworkAccess to the shared workbook is dependent on network connectivity, which can be an issue if the network is unreliable or if a user is offline.

Additional Information

While having multiple users edit an Excel workbook simultaneously is a game-changer for collaboration, there are some extra tips and insights to keep in mind. Firstly, always ensure that your team has a clear communication channel, such as an instant messaging app or email. This enables users to discuss any changes made in real-time, reducing the chance of conflicts. Additionally, it’s wise to regularly back up your workbook.

Even with Excel’s change tracking, it’s possible for data to get lost or corrupted due to various reasons such as network issues or software bugs. Lastly, make sure to train your team on how to use the shared workbook feature effectively. This includes understanding how to resolve conflicts and how to use the change history to track edits. By keeping these additional points in mind, Excel will allow multiple users to collaborate smoothly and efficiently.


  1. Save the Workbook to a Shared Location
  2. Enable Shared Workbook Feature
  3. Save and Share the Workbook

Frequently Asked Questions

Can more than two users edit an Excel workbook at the same time?

Yes, Excel allows more than two users to edit a workbook simultaneously, as long as the shared workbook feature is enabled and the workbook is saved in a shared location.

How do I resolve conflicts in a shared Excel workbook?

Excel provides a ‘Resolve Conflicts’ dialog box where users can choose which changes to keep whenever a conflict arises from simultaneous edits.

What happens if a user edits the workbook offline?

Any changes made offline will be updated and merged with the shared workbook once the user reconnects to the network and saves the workbook.

Can I track changes made by other users?

Yes, the shared workbook feature includes a change history that shows the edits made by different users along with the time and date of the changes.

Are there limitations to the Excel functions when sharing a workbook?

When a workbook is shared, some Excel features such as table creation, conditional formatting, and data validation may be limited or unavailable to ensure smooth multi-user editing.


Making Excel allow multiple users to edit a workbook simultaneously is a powerful feature that can greatly enhance teamwork and productivity. By saving the workbook in a shared location and enabling the shared workbook feature, you can ensure that collaboration is seamless and efficient. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and to take steps to mitigate any issues that may arise, such as data conflicts or limited access to certain Excel features.

By following the steps outlined in this article and keeping the additional tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to successful multi-user editing in Excel. Remember, communication and proper management of the shared workbook are key to making the most of this collaborative function.

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