Secure Your Data. How to Lock Cells from Editing in Google Sheets

Manual Method: Locking Cells from Editing in Google Sheets #

Google Sheets allows users to lock specific cells from being edited, ensuring the data remains secure and protected. These locked cells can only be modified by users with the necessary permissions. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to manually lock cells in Google Sheets:

  1. Open Google Sheets and create a new spreadsheet or open an existing one.
  2. Select the cells or range of cells that you want to lock. You can do this by clicking and dragging the mouse cursor over the desired cells or clicking on the first cell and holding Shift while selecting the last cell of the range.
  3. Right-click on the selected cells and choose "Protect sheets and ranges" from the context menu.
  4. In the sidebar that appears on the right side of the screen, click on the "Set Permissions" button.
  5. In the "Set Permissions" dialog box, specify the users or groups that should have access to the locked cells. You can enter their email addresses or choose from your contact list.
  6. Under the "Restrict who can edit this range" section, select the "Only you" option to restrict editing to yourself or choose "Custom" to set specific permissions for other users.
  7. Click on the "Done" button to save the changes.

Now, the selected cells or range of cells are locked, and only users with the appropriate permissions can edit them. This manual method is simple and effective for small-scale locking of cells in Google Sheets.

Using Google Apps Script to Lock Cells Programmatically #

If you have a large spreadsheet or need to automate the process of locking cells, using Google Apps Script can be a more efficient option. The following Apps Script code can be used as a starting point to lock cells programmatically:

function lockCells() {
var sheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
var range = sheet.getRange("A1:B5"); // Specify the range of cells to be locked

var protection = range.protect();
var description = "Locked Range"; // Change this to set a custom description for the protected range


//Restrict editing permissions
var editors = protection.getEditors();

if(editors.length > 0) {

protection.addEditor(""); // Add the email addresses of users who can edit the locked cells

protection.setWarningOnly(true); // Set to false if you want to prevent editing rather than just displaying a warning

To use this script:

  1. Open your Google Sheets spreadsheet.
  2. Click on "Extensions" in the menu bar and select "Apps Script" to open the Apps Script editor.
  3. Replace the code in the editor with the provided script.
  4. Modify the range variable to specify the desired range of cells that should be locked.
  5. Customize the description variable to provide a descriptive name for the protected range.
  6. Add the email addresses of the users who should be able to edit the locked cells by changing the arguments of the addEditor() method.
  7. Save the script and run it by clicking on the ▶️ button or by selecting "Run" in the menu bar.

The script will lock the specified cells, restrict editing permissions, and provide the necessary access only to the specified users. You can enhance this script by adding conditions, loops, or other logic to make it more dynamic and tailored to your specific use case.

Use Case Examples #

  1. Protecting Sensitive Information: When working with shared spreadsheets that contain sensitive data, such as personal information or financial records, locking specific cells can prevent accidental modifications or unauthorized access to valuable information.

  2. Data Entry Forms: When creating data entry forms in Google Sheets, it is often advisable to lock certain cells that should only be edited by designated individuals or scripts. This ensures the integrity of the data entered and prevents accidental changes to formulas or calculations.

  3. Collaborative Spreadsheets: In collaborative environments, locking cells can be useful to maintain control over specific sections of a spreadsheet while allowing others to edit different parts. This is particularly helpful when multiple users are working on different aspects of a project simultaneously.

By utilizing the manual method or Google Apps Script, you can secure your data effectively and ensure that only authorized individuals can edit specific cells in your Google Sheets spreadsheets.

How to lock a sheet: To lock a sheet in Google Sheets, you can follow these steps.
How to lock cells from editing: To prevent cells from being edited in Google Sheets, you can use this method.
How to link to another sheet: If you want to create a link to another sheet in Google Sheets, here's how you can do it.
How to lock a row: To lock a specific row in Google Sheets, you can try out this approach.
How to link cells: If you need to create links between cells in Google Sheets, you can use this technique.