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How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets: Everything You Need to Know

May 26, 2022

Understanding how to lock cells in Google Sheets is a fantastic skill to use when it is not only you working on a presentation. It allows you to collaborate with others while continuing to protect your data.

One of the greatest advantages of using Google Sheets is that you can share your work with others. Multiple people can work on a single sheet tab at the same time.

However, there are issues that can arise from everyone working in the same Google Sheets spreadsheet at once. You might want to make sure specific cells are not accidentally tweaked or edited.

To do this, locking a cell range is the best option available to you in Google Sheets.

How to Lock in Google Sheets

If you have implemented hours of work into a Google Sheets document, the last thing you want to do is allow anyone to edit your cells.

Taking a quick moment to lock cells can stop them from getting changed or edited and ensure it is safe even after you have shared it.

Here's how you can lock cells within Google Sheets:

  • Protect your document: Open the Google Sheets file and work out the cell range you want to lock. You can lock certain cells while letting other users edit other cells.

  • Open the Data menu: From the top of the document, choose Protected Sheets and Ranges via the drop-down menu. A Protected Sheets and Ranges pane will appear on the right-hand side of your sheet.

  • Enter a description: From the Protected Sheets and Ranges pane, submit a description of the actions you want to protect cells from. For example, this could be "no editing" or "no changing." Once you are happy, select the Set Permissions button to change the permissions of your selected cell range.

  • Choose who has permission: Now, decide which users you want to give user permissions to for each locked cell. Select "Restrict who can edit this range." You can pick Only you from the drop-down menu, and no other user can edit those cells. Use the Custom option to add select users.

  • Finalize your choices: Once you are happy with who has permission to edit certain aspects of your sheet, select Done.

  • If any user that doesn't have special editing permissions attempts to edit protected cells, they will get hit with a warning message that states the cell is protected.

How to protect an entire sheet in Google Sheets

Locking cells and protecting particular cells in Google Sheets is a fantastic option for when you only want other users to edit certain aspects of the sheet.

However, if you want to protect an entire sheet, you can stop anyone from editing your entire Google Sheets document. You can choose to give yourself the only editing permissions or offer editing permissions to certain users.

  • To begin, open your Google Sheet

  • Right-click the sheet tab that you want to protect. This format allows you to protect one tab at a time.

  • Select the Protect sheets option. This will open up the Protected sheets and ranges pane.

  • From this pane, input a description of what you are doing.

  • Select the Set Permissions button.

  • Choose Restrict who can edit this range.

  • From the drop-down, select Only You if you don't want other users to edit the sheet. You can use the Custom button to add user permissions to selected people, then hit Done.

Getting the Best Out of Google Sheets

Google Sheets is an extremely powerful and useful tool for any individual or organization. Once you understand how to implement a protected cell or range editing permissions, you can use this tool to take your work to all new heights.

If you work on spreadsheets a lot, be sure to check out the range of information and how-to guides available on the Simple Sheets blog.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Lock Cells In Google Sheets

How do you lock cells in Google Sheets, so they don't move?

Open your google sheets document and choose the cell range you are keen to lock.

Once chosen, click on the Data menu, located at the top of your entire sheet. From there, click Protected sheets and Ranges, which is visible from the drop-down menu.

Type in a description such as "No editing" or "No changing" and click on Set Permissions.

From there, pick which users you would like to be able to edit your locked cells. Select the Restrict who can edit this range button. You have the power to just select "only you" or add a few people using the Custom option.

Can you freeze cells in Google Sheets?

On your computer or mobile device, choose a Google Sheets document to open.

Pick a column or row you'd like to freeze or unfreeze.

From the top toolbar, select View, then Freeze.

Can you lock certain columns in Google Sheets?

You have the power to lock specific cells rather than an entire sheet. To do this, select the lock columns you want to create. Then, open the data menu from the toolbar, and click on the Protected sheets and ranges sidebar.

This open is great when you don't want to protect entire sheets and you want other users to work on certain aspects of your spreadsheet and not the entire sheet.

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