Protecting certain cells within a worksheet

New Contributor


I have created this spreadsheet as a complete beginner. I have managed to apply formulas to share certain data with other sheets within the workbook.

But for the life of me, I cannot get my head around how to protect the following cells on the sheet in order to avoid staff messing up the formulas:

Cells to protect : J4, T4, X4, W8:46, X8:46, H8:46, I8:46, R8:46, S8:46, H50:52, N51:56.
The remaining cells will be left unprotected in order that staff can enter the appropriate data required.

I just cannot find a successful way of protecting the cells correctly.

Is anyone able to offer any advice? I would be extremely grateful.


2 Replies


By default, all cells in a worksheet are locked, but this only takes effect when you protect the worksheet.

Do the following:

  • Click the button in the upper left corner of the worksheet, at the intersection of the row numbers and column headers. This selects the entire sheet.
  • Press Ctrl+1 to activate the Format Cells dialog.
  • Activate the Protection tab.
  • Clear the Locked check box.
  • Click OK. All cells have been unlocked.
  • Select J4, then hold down Ctrl while you select T4, X4 etc.
  • Press Ctrl+1 again, and this time tick the Locked check box.
  • Click OK. You have now locked the selected cells.
  • Activate the Review tab of the ribbon.
  • Click Protect Sheet.
  • In the Protect Sheet dialog, use the check boxes to specify what the users will be allowed to do.
  • At the very least, leave the check box 'Select unlocked cells' ticked.
  • If you want to specify a password that will be needed later on to unprotect the sheet, enter it in the Password box. Do not forget the password!
  • Click OK. If you specified a password, you will be asked to enter it again as confirmation.
  • Save the workbook.
best response confirmed by martinwardle (New Contributor)

Thank you Hans@Hans Vogelaar 

Brilliant and instant success. Very much appreciated.

Martin Wardle-Rogers