How To Unlock Cells In Excel

How to unlock cells in Excel

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There’s a great feature in Microsoft Excel that allows you to lock cells and prevent them from being edited when you share your spreadsheet with others. However, sometimes you want others to be able to edit certain cells – so check out the below guide on how you can unlock cells in Excel.

How To Unlock Cells in Excel


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First Select The Cells You Want To Unlock

To start, you need to first select the cells you want to unlock. You can do this by clicking and dragging your cursor over the cells you want to unlock.

This will highlight them and change them to a gray color and with a green border, signifying that you have selected them.



Head To The Format Button

Then, you need to head to the Format button on the top menu of the Excel Window.

The Format button can be found in the Home menu, which is the tab menu that Excel automatically opens with.

If you have switched tabs, then just select the ‘Home’ button on the top ribbon menu of the screen to return to it.



The Format Button

The Format button can be found on the right hand side of the Home menu, in the Cells section.

It can be located beneath both the Insert and Delete button and is next to an icon of a grid with a central blue square.



Select The Format Button

Select the Format button and a drop down menu will appear. At the bottom of the drop down menu is the Format Cells option – select it and this will bring up the Format Cells dialog box.



In The Format Cells Dialog Box

In the Format Cells dialog box, you need to select the ‘Protection’ tab to open up the Protection menu.

Locked cells will have a ticked box next to the ‘Locked’ option. To unlock them, just simply untick the box and then press ‘OK’ at the bottom of the dialog box.

The dialog box will disappear and your cells will now be unlocked and available for you to edit and change.


How To Unprotect A Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet

If you want to be able to edit an entire spreadsheet, then an easier way to unlock all of the cells at once is to just unprotect the spreadsheet.

Protected spreadsheets are done so you can either only edit certain parts of the spreadsheet or none of it at all. By unprotecting it, you can have full access to edit all of the cells.



Click On The Review Tab

To do this, you will need to click on the Review tab on the tab menu at the top of your window (it’s between the ‘Data’ tab and the ‘View’ tab). Once you have found it, select it to open the Review menu.

On the Review menu, you need to find the ‘Unprotect Sheet’ button. This will be in the Protection section of the menu, towards the right of the screen and is symbolized by an icon with a grid and a gold padlock.

Click on the button and then type in the protected password to the sheet.

This will completely unlock the whole spreadsheet, which will unlock all cells in Excel, so you can edit every part of the spreadsheet.


And that’s how you unlock cells in Microsoft Excel

It’s super easy to do and it’s a great method for protecting parts of your spreadsheet so others who can access it cannot make changes or edits that can affect your data.

So, only give the password for the protected spreadsheet to those who are permitted to make edits. Then you will be able to work as a group on the perfect spreadsheet.