Excel 2010/2007: Force “Open as Read Only” Prompt

If you have a file that is sensitive to changes, you can force Excel 2007 to prompt the user to open as Read Only whenever they attempt to open the file. Here’s how to enable this setting.

1. In Excel, click the Microsoft Office Button (2007) or File (2010) and click Save As.

Excel save as

2. Click Tools > General Options at the bottom of the window.

Excel general options

3. Click the box for Read-only recommended.

Excel read only recommended setting

4. Click OK.

5. Click Save.

6. If prompted, click Yes to update the file with the read-only setting.


  1. Joey Goodson says

    Thank you! Just a note to let you know your tip is still helping others!

  2. Yanick Lacombe says

    If you want to open an Excel 2010 files as read-only, hold the Shift key and right-click the file. You should be getting the “Open as Read-Only” option.

  3. TWhite says

    This was not really helpful. I do not want to change the properties of someone else’s file. You used to be able to right click on the file name and open as read only. That option doesn’t seem to be available anymore.

  4. Sridhar Konda says

    If you are Using Excel 2007

    Microsoft suggests below option:
    On the Review tab, click Protect Document.

    > On the Review tab, click Protect Document.
    > lect Restrict Formatting and Editing.
    > Formatting restrictions, Editing restrictions and Start enforcement, you can make selections that meet your formatting and editing needs.


    But if you cannot find these options in excel easiest way is to Click XL Office button and click “Save As -> Tools (left Bottom) -> General Options -> Password to modify (you will find some additional options select accordingly)”

    Hope this helps

  5. tt says

    There is “tools” option when you select Save as. look at the bottom left coner of the save window.

  6. derek douglass says

    Very frustrating that you moved all the previously easy to find functions from obvious locations to random hidden places

  7. trevor says

    Hi , found the location ok but the read only box was not ticked but the file is still a read only file . When i make alterations to the file i am unable to and it suggests i save under another name . when i do that it says i cant and says i need to contact the administrator and to save in my documents. I have just installed wind. 7 on the same drive as these files and all other files are reacting the same way . thanks hope u can help. trevor

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