Unable to Insert a New Worksheet

Copper Contributor

Something in my workbook has changed which prevents me from adding new sheets to the workbook.  The circle-plus on the sheets tab is grayed-out, and Home-Insert-Insert Sheet is grayed-out.  I have no idea how to "unlock" this.


2 Replies
best response confirmed by Hans Vogelaar (MVP)


One possible reason why you are unable to insert a new worksheet could be that the workbook structure is protected. To check if this is the case, go to the “Review” tab and click on “Protect Workbook”. If you are prompted to unprotect the workbook, then a password has been set to protect the workbook structure.

If the workbook structure is protected, you can unprotect it by entering the password. Once the workbook structure is unprotected, you should be able to insert new worksheets.

In the inserted links you will find detailed information about unlocking and possible sources of error.

Another possibility is that there could be an issue with an add-in. You can try running Excel in safe mode to see if this resolves the issue. To do this, find the shortcut icon for your Office application, press and hold the CTRL key and double-click the application shortcut. Alternatively, you can open the RUN dialog box by pressing the Windows+R keys and type excel /safe.

If running Excel in safe mode (and unlocking) does not resolve the issue, you can try clearing the cache of Office or repairing your Office installation.

**A general update of the computer is always necessary from the beginning before taking any steps.


Hope I was able to help you with this info.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)

Thanks for the feedback.  Clicking "Protect Workbook", then unchecking and re-checking "Structure" did unprotect the workbook.  There was no password requested (and I had never entered one).  I must have inadvertently checked "Protect WorkBOOK" and OK when I meant to check "Protect/Unprotect WorkSHEET" which I do periodically.  For future reference, it would be helpful to have the same Protect/Unprotect button for WorkBOOK that flips back and forth for WorkSHEET -- there is only "Protect Workbook" and no "Unprotect Workbook".