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Protect, hide, and edit sheets

Protect a sheet or range

If you don’t want people to change the content in a spreadsheet, you can protect it. This shouldn’t be used as a security measure. People can print, copy, paste, and import and export copies of a protected spreadsheet. Only share spreadsheets with people you trust.

Protect a range or sheet
  1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click Data and then Protected sheets and ranges. A box will open on the right.
  3. Click Add a sheet or range or click an existing protection to edit it.
  4. To protect a range, click Range. To protect a sheet, click Sheet.
    • Range: To change or enter the range you’re protecting, click the spreadsheet icon and highlight the range in the spreadsheet.
    • Sheet: Choose a sheet to protect. If you want a set of cells to be unprotected in a sheet, check the box next to "Except certain cells."
  5. Click Set permissions or Change permissions.
  6. Choose how you want to limit editing:
    • To show a warning when anyone makes an edit: Select "Show a warning when editing this range." It doesn’t block people from editing, but they’ll see a message asking them to confirm if they really want to make an edit.
    • To choose who can edit the range or sheet: select "Restrict who can edit this range." Choose:
      • Only you: Only you (and the owner if you’re not the owner) can edit the range or sheet.
      • Only domain: If you use Google Sheets for work or school, only people in your domain can edit the range or sheet. This option is only available when everyone in your domain can edit the spreadsheet.
      • Custom: Only the people you choose can edit the range or sheet.
      • Copy permissions from another range: Reuse the same permissions you set up on a different set of cells or sheet.
  7. Click Save or Done.

To see protected cells, click View and then Protected ranges. A striped background will appear over the cells.

Who can protect a range or sheet
  • If you own a spreadsheet: You can decide who can change ranges and sheets.
  • If you can edit a spreadsheet: You can decide who can edit ranges and sheets but can’t take permissions away from owners.
  • If you can view or comment on a spreadsheet: You won't be able to make any changes.
Edit a copy of a protected sheet
  • If you can edit: You can make a copy of the protected sheet, copy the workbook, or upload a new version.
  • If you have can view but not edit: You can make a copy of the spreadsheet.

Hide sheets from view

You can hide sheets that are old or are placeholders for calculations used by other sheets.

Hiding a sheet is not the same as protecting a sheet.

  • All spreadsheet editors can unhide and view these sheets.
  • Spreadsheet viewers can’t see hidden sheets. If someone makes a copy of the spreadsheet, the sheets will stay hidden, but they’ll be able to unhide the sheets.
Hide or unhide a sheet

To hide a sheet:

  1. Open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click the sheet you want to hide.
  3. On the sheet tab, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  4. Click Hide sheet. This option won’t show if your spreadsheet doesn’t contain two or more sheets.

To unhide a sheet:

  1. Click View and then Hidden sheets. If your spreadsheet doesn’t have any hidden sheets, this option will be grayed out.
  2. Click the sheet that you no longer want hidden.
  3. The spreadsheet will reappear.
Import and export spreadsheets with hidden sheets

Hidden sheets will stay hidden if you:

  • Export the spreadsheet as a .pdf, .xls, or .ods file.
  • Import the spreadsheet in .xls, .xlsx, or .ods format.
  • Exporting the spreadsheet to html with the "/htmlview" parameter: If you include the page parameter (#gid=N) in the URL, the hidden sheet will show.
  • Publish the spreadsheet.

Edit sheets

Copy a sheet

You can copy a sheet in a spreadsheet. Copies can be made within the same spreadsheet or into a separate spreadsheet.

To copy a sheet to another spreadsheet:

  1. On the sheet tab, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  2. Click Copy to.
  3. Choose the destination spreadsheet from the list.
  4. Click Select.

To copy a sheet within a spreadsheet:

  1. On the sheet tab, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  2. Click Duplicate.
  3. A duplicate sheet will appear in a new tab next to the original sheet.
Reorder sheets

To change the order of the sheets in a spreadsheet, click and drag a sheet tab until it is in the order you want.

Rename a sheet

To change the name of a sheet in a spreadsheet, double-click the text on the sheet tab and type in the new name.

Add color to a sheet tab

Add a color to your sheet tabs to easily tell them apart.

  1. On the sheet tab, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  2. Click Change color.
  3. Select a color.
Delete a sheet
  1. Click the sheet you want to remove.
  2. On the sheet tab, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Click Delete.
  4. Click OK.

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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