Excel 2010/2007: Lock/Unlock Cells

Are you unable to modify cells because they are locked? Here’s how to lock or unlock cells in Excel 2010 and 2007.

1. Select the cells you wish to modify.

2. Choose the Home tab.

3. In the Cells area, select Format > Format Cells.

Excel Format Cells option

4. Click the Protection tab.

Excel locked setting

4. Uncheck the box for Locked to unlock the cells. Check the box to lock them. Click OK. As the dialog box says, locking cells or hiding formulas has no effect until you protect the worksheet. You can do so under the Review tab by selecting Protect Sheet.

Excel protect sheet


  1. pete says

    Tried all the above and more! When the sheet is open nothing on the toolbar is open so can’t select … so for example ‘format cells’ cannot be accessed. This happens with three sheets in the workbook. All the rest can be edited.
    Any more suggestions … inherited the workbook from a collegue who has been transferred overseas …. what to do?

  2. Walt Edwards says

    I want to have certain cells and groups of cells unlocked for data entry in a protected sheet.
    Please suggest a procedure.

  3. M. SARFRAZ says

    for Jafar, Siri and Parveen,
    1. go to review tab.
    2. select “allow user to edit ranges”
    3. select the range of cells you want to type in.
    4. protect the sheet by password.
    you can add new ranges every time by ‘unprotect sheet’ and repeat the steps from 1 – 4.

  4. M. SARFRAZ says

    all the answers regarding lock unlock the cells doe’s not work in selected cell, row or colunm, by protecting the sheet we cant do anything, what I need is that in same sheet I want to lock some selected cells, can anybody help me?

  5. jafar says

    Can anyone please let me know, that soon after a value is entered in the cell should lock itself within time specified or immediately. This is because the value of the cell should not by change by chance or by mistake. If it so happens it should prompt a messge, there by alerting user.

  6. siri says

    How do I lock a particular cell without locking the whole work sheet ? Please help its urgent

  7. Praveen kumar says

    Dear Sir,

    I want to lock the particular cell,row & column without using protect sheet What i mean is you can change or modify and data entry without touching (lock) the particular cell,row & column.

    Please help me to enjoy the work with out problem

  8. yolanda laurente says

    where can i find the home? i was trying to unlock a cell and don’t know how. the person who did it left the company already.

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