Locking cells in Excel Online? Is it possible?

Occasional Contributor

Microsoft's website claims that the online version of Excel has a feature that will allow you to lock certain cells so that they can't be accidentally overwritten, but it doesn't explain how to do it.


I've been searching for an answer for quite a while, but I can't find any specific info about how to do this. All the tutorials I've seen reference the desktop version of Excel only.


Can anyone shed some light on this? Thank you.

6 Replies


Lock cells to protect them

Excel for the web can’t lock cells or specific areas of a worksheet.

If you want to lock cells or protect specific areas, click Open in Excel and lock cells to protect them or lock or unlock specific areas of a protected worksheet.


Thank you for your understanding and patience



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

best response confirmed by Tom_M_1969 (Occasional Contributor)


You have to apply the protection in the desktop version (for Windows or Mac). If you then upload the workbook to the cloud and open it in Excel Online, the protection will still work.


(Protecting is a two-step process:

  1. Unlock the cells that should be editable in the Protection tab of the Format Cells dialog.
  2. Protect the worksheet on the Review tab of the ribbon.)
Thank you!


If you want to keep your data locked away from others, you can do so using Microsoft Excel Online.

  1. First, open Microsoft Excel Online.
  2. Then click the File tab and select Options.
  3. On the Options dialog box, click the Protection tab.
  4. Under Lock Cells, select the lock type that you want to use.

For more detailed article you may check out this blog post:


Where do you see a "Protection tab" in File > Options in Excel Online?

(There is nothing about Excel Online in the blog page you refer to)

@Hans Vogelaar Only works on desktop version