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Protect a range or sheet from being edited

To restrict who can edit a group of cells or sheet in a spreadsheet, protect the range of cells or sheet.

Protect a range or sheet

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Select a cell or range of cells.
  3. Click the Data menu and select Protected sheets and ranges.
  4. In the box that appears on the right, take an action:
    • Add a description (optional).
    • To protect a range, click Range. To protect a sheet, click Sheet.
    • Range:Change or enter the range you’re protecting. To do this, click on the spreadsheet grid icon and highlight the range in the spreadsheet. If you chose a cell or range earlier, it’ll appear automatically.
    • 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:
    • Select "Show a warning when editing this range" to show a warning when anyone makes an edit. 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. This can be useful to prevent typos (even from yourself).
    • Select "Restrict who can edit this range" and choose who can edit the range or sheet:
      • Everyone: Anyone can edit the range or sheet.
      • 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 Apps 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 you can’t edit, click the View menu > Protected ranges. A striped background will appear over the cells.

Who can create a protected range or sheet

  • If you own a spreadsheet: You can set editing permissions for ranges and sheets.
  • If you can edit a spreadsheet: You can set editing permission but can’t remove editing permission for owners.
  • If you can view or comment on a spreadsheet: You won't be able to make any changes or delete a protected range or sheet.

Edit a copy of a protected sheet

To edit data in a copy of a protected sheet:

  • If you have “edit” permissions: Make a copy of the protected sheet, copy the workbook, or upload a new version.
  • If you have “view” permissions: Make a copy of a spreadsheet.

Warning: Protected ranges and sheets can help stop people from changing a spreadsheet, but they shouldn’t be used for security purposes because not all actions are blocked. Other people can still print, copy and paste, and import and export copies of a protected spreadsheet. Only share spreadsheets with people you trust.

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

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