How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets (With Screenshots)

Here's how to lock cells in Google Sheets in just a few quick steps. This is a great way to make sure no one accidentally changes anything in your spreadsheets.

Locking cells in Google Sheets is a great way to make sure no one accidentally changes what you’ve done.

For example, imagine you have a database of clients and their corresponding status with the company. It would be inappropriate for employees to edit, add, or delete any information related to client status without first getting permission from the manager. This is where locking cells is helpful.

Locking cells prevents them from being edited by anyone except the person who locked them in the first place.

The following blog post will show you how to easily lock cells in Google Sheets, step by step.

Note that in Google Sheets, locking cells is called “Protect range.” As Google notes, protecting a range or even an entire sheet shouldn’t be used as a security measure:

“People can print, copy, paste, and import and export copies of a protected spreadsheet. Only share spreadsheets with people you trust.”

Protect a sheet or range, Doc Editors Help

Step 1

Create/open the Google Sheet at http://sheets.google.com

Step 2

Highlight the cells you want to lock. If you want to protect unconnected cells, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each range.

how to lock cells in google sheets step 2

Step 3

Right-click on the highlighted cells, scroll down and click on Protect range.

protect range google sheets lock cells

Step 4

Enter a description or a name for the highlighted range.

This is not mandatory, however, it will help you keep track if you want to protect multiple ranges.

protected ranges google sheets labeled

Step 5

Click on Set Permissions.

set permission sheets and ranges lock cells google sheets

Step 6

Option 1 – Choose only you if you don’t want to give anyone editing rights;

range editing permissions

Option 2 – Or chose Custom to allow specific people to be able to edit it. To do that, enter Gmail addresses of editors in the provided field and click on Done.

range editing permissions email

Note: to see protected cells, click View > Protected ranges. A striped background will appear over the cells.

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