How to Lock Cells in Google Sheets

Sheets calls this "protecting" cells.
Michael Michael (175)

Google calls locking cells—"protecting" cells. And it's really quite easy to lock a cell in Google Sheets.

What does it mean to lock a cell in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets lets you protect (lock) cells, so that data within the cell cannot be edited or changed. Even if you've already shared a Sheet with someone, they will not be able to change the data or information in the "protected" or locked cell.

Note: Did you know can optimize your workflow at the press of a button? Visit this guide to view the latest list of keyboard shortcuts in Google Sheets.

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right click on cell google sheets

You can lock an individual cell or multiple. Once you've highlighted the cells you want to lock, right-click them.

protect range google sheets

Protect range is Google's term for locking a cell.

set permission google sheets

You can choose a range of cells here, as well, if desired. You can also, optionally, add a description to the locked cell to explain why the cell is being locked.

Range editing permissions Google Sheets

You have a few options here.

  1. You can set a warning on the cell, as opposed to actually locking it. This will let someone know to be careful with editing data in the cell.
  2. You can restrict the editing of the cell to Only you or specific people.

Once you've decided how you want to lock the cell in Google Sheets, click Done.

The cell will now be highlighted to indicate that it is locked.

Keep your rows fixed to the top!
Michael Michael (175)

In this guide, we'll show you how to freeze a row or column in Google Sheets. What does it mean to "freeze a row" in Google Sheets?