How to unlock cells in Excel – our guide to unlocking columns and rows

Here's how you can unlock individual and multiple cells in Excel!

Reviewed By: Kevin Pocock

Last Updated on July 15, 2024
A green square with the word "Excel" on it, presenting a visual representation of unlocking cells in Excel.
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Are you wondering how to unlock cells in Excel? We’ve got you covered right here.

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 you’ll need to learn how you can unlock them.

This is where we come in. In This guide, we will explain how to unlock cells in Excel so you can share your spreadsheets easily.


How to unlock cells in Excel

Here’s how you can quickly unlock cells in Excel.



Select the cell

The first thing you need to do is select a cell you want to unlock. You can either select an individual cell or a row/column.



Go to Format

Next, you need to press right-click to open a menu, and click on Format Cells.

Learn how to create and unlock cells in Excel to create an organized spreadsheet.



Unlock the cell

All you need to do now is uncheck the box next to Locked, and click OK. Once done, the cells will be unlocked.

How to change the format of a file in Windows 10 and unlock cells in Excel.

If you want to unlock all cells in Excel, simply press Ctrl + A to select all cells, and then proceed with the above steps.


How to unlock all cells in a protected Excel sheet

If you want to unlock all cells in a protected Excel sheet, there’s a method for it too.



Go to the Review tab

First, got to the Review tab, which is right next to the Data tab.



Click on Unprotect Sheet

Next, click on the Unprotect Sheet button. Once done, all the cells will be unlocked. Don’t worry, you won’t have to enter any password for it.

The excel spreadsheet with an unlocked cells.


And that’s how to unlock cells in 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.

Learn more about Excel through these helpful guides:

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.