Google Sheets – Protect Cells

Google Sheets – Protect Cells


This is a little tutorial on how
to protect cells in a shared worksheet in Google
Docs. Google Docs is made for collaboration. You can invite other
people to use a spreadsheet but there’s going to be
times when you want them to be able to edit part to
the spreadsheet not the entire spreadsheet. So I made a quick example here just so I
can illustrate how to protect certain cells or a range of cells. This is a mock spreadsheet. Say I’m an HR department and I have a
list of names and list of issues with these
people. Then I’m going to have someone else login and respond. I really don’t want the person who is
logging in to be able to change column B, really column A either for
that matter, but we’ll just act like it’s Column B for now. So you want to protect these cells and
just these cells so you select them, you right-click, and you choose name and protect range. Now I’m going to
name it ‘dontlook’. This is the range that I had already selected. I’m gonna check ‘protect’ and select ‘done’. And then it comes up and asks me whether you want to protect it from the other user. This is me right now, I’m on this browser I’m working with so I obviously don’t want to protect for myself. But this other person, which I’m going to flip over to is the person from whom I’m going to protect
it. So I’m going to say this person can view but can’t edit. Click OK that’s a little off the screen but that’s what that says. Save changes This should be protected. If you’re
looking here, I just did this before as well so it
actually protected twice: Just look at this one. So here’s my other
browser that’s logged in as a different person. If you look you can see the diagonal lines on here which is an
indication that these are protected so I’m gonna try to change this. Say I’m Kelly and I’m looking at this and I’m supposed to respond. Kelly’s
gonna go in here and try to type. As soon as I try that it says that I can’t do it. So that’s a quick little tutorial on why you want
to do it and how you want it. Which is protect cells or a range of cells in Google Docs (now Google Sheets).

15 Replies to “Google Sheets – Protect Cells”

  1. Is there a way to make it so they can't even click the cell? Looking to convert many Excel work files and its just easier if the person can't even get into the cell at all.

  2. hi there! I am trying to apply this to a shared document, but haven't been successful. Does this rule only apply prior to sharing with other collaborators?

  3. Hi, If you hide/protect a cell and share. Is it possible that all that you're sharing with can not see or click on the arrow to see that particular cell, but only see what pertains to them? Great tutorial. Thanks.

  4. I have a sheet where I've shared data from another sheet, such as the names only, and the email addresses only. Now I want to do attendance with those names. I've noticed as soon as I sort the data in the original sheet, the data gets out of sync with the names. How can I keep the names and the data aligned.

  5. Thanks. Very helpful. Even though the format has changed slightly in the 5 years since this was published, I was still able to easily follow along and make the necessary changes to my sheet.

  6. Can you limit the viewer? I mean we have 5 google sheet and we have 5 email shared with but can you limit the viewer for one sheet only you can see that one sheet not just protect the cell?

  7. Is it possible to lock columns based on date in row 1. For example, lock column B when date in B1 has passed. Lock C when C1 has passed. It'll be great if you can help 🙂

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