Set a password to a book/file

For Excel books/files that are private and want to prevent other people’s access, we can set a password to the book to protect them.

 

How to set it up) Protect Excel book with a password

We can set a password during the ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’ process.

(1) Open ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’ → Click ‘Tool’ on the bottom → Select ‘General Options’.

 

(2) When the dialog box appears, follow the steps below:

① Type password of preference in [Password to open:] and [Password to modify:].
→(※The typed content will not be shown. The content will appear as ‘●’.)
② Click [OK] to continue.

The difference between [Password to open] and [Password to modify]

[Password to open]・・・A password to open the file. The file itself will not open without the password.
[Password to modify]・・・A password to edit the file. The file will open but will ask for the password once we try to edit it.

 

(3) Retype the password typed in (2).

① Retype the same password set in (2).
② Click [OK] to complete.

Now that the setting of the password is complete, save and close the book.
(※If the book is not saved, the changes will not be reflected.)

 

(4) Results of password protection

Open the book again.
When trying to open, Excel should ask for the password. We will not be able to see the content of the book until we type in the correct password.

 

How to undue) Unprotect book

To undue, we go to the same ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’ screen.

(1) Click ‘Tool’ on the bottom → Select ‘General Options’.

 

(2) Erase the password(s).

① Erase the password(s).
② Press [OK] to complete.

Now the password settings is undone. Once saved and reopened, Excel will not ask for the password anymore.
(※If the book is not saved, the changes will not be reflected.)

 

Set a password to a worksheet

We can also protect only the worksheet in a book as well. When a sheet is protected, Excel will ask for the password when we try to edit it.

 

How to set it up) Protect Excel worksheet with a password

(1) Open worksheet to protect → Click [Review] → Click [Protect Sheet] from ribbon.

 

(2) When the dialog box opens, follow the steps below:

① Type the password of preference in [Password to unprotect sheet:].
② Click [OK] to continue.

 

(3) Retype the password typed in (2).

① Retype the same password set in (2).
② Click [OK] to complete.

Save the book, and the sheet will protected with a password.
(※If the book is not saved, the change in settings will not be reflected.)

 

(4) Results of password protection

Now let us try to edit the sheet we have just locked with a password.

A message like the above appears, and we cannot edit the content of the worksheet without typing the password.

 

How to undue) Unprotect worksheet

To unprotect the worksheet, do the following:

① Select [Unprotect Sheet] from the [Review] tab.
② When the dialog box appears, type password and click [OK].

Now the worksheet is unprotected.

 

Set a password to a cell range

Lastly, we will explain how to set a password to a specific cell range. This is useful for times when we ‘do not want other people to edit this certain cell range…’.

 

How to set it up) Protect only a certain cell range with a password

(1) As a preparation, we will change the format of the whole worksheet.

① Click on the top left hand corner to highlight the whole worksheet.
② Right click anywhere on sheet and select ‘Format Cells’ from the menu.

 

(2) When a new dialog box appears, change the settings as follows:

① Click on the [Protection] tab on the upper right.
② Remove the check ☑ from ‘Locked’.
③ Click [OK] to complete.

Now the preparation is complete. We will move on to the protection process in (3).

 

(3) Highlight cell range to protect (for this example, B4:C7) and right click. Select ‘Format Cells’ from the menu.

 

(4) As we took the ‘lock’ off from the whole sheet in step (2) we will lock it once again, but this time for only the selected cell range.

① Click on the [Protection] tab on the upper right.
② Add a check ✓in ‘Locked’.
③ Click [OK] to continue.

 

(5) Set a password for the whole worksheet.

① Click ‘Protect Sheet’ from the [Review] tab.
② When the dialog box appears, check that “Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells” is checked, and type a password of preference.
③ Click [OK] to continue.

 

(6) Retype the password.

① Retype the password.
② Click [OK] to complete.

 

(7) Results of password protection

Let us check what the results look like.
Firstly, we click on cell B4 and try to edit its content.

A message like the above appears, and we cannot edit the content in cell B4.

 

Next we will try to edit the content in cell D4, which is not suppose to be protected.

It can be seen above that we can edit the content without any problem. It shows that the protection was done correctly.

Like the example above, we can protect specific cell ranges as well. This tool can be useful when sharing an Excel file.

 

How to undue) Unprotect cell range

To unprotect cell range, we use the same steps as unprotecting the worksheet.

① Click [Unprotect sheet] from the [Review] tab.
② When the dialog box appears, type in password.
③ Click [OK] to finish.

 

 

Protecting Excel ‘books’, ‘worksheets’ and ‘cell range’ is important in a world like today where we share information through the computer and internet, so this would be a good operation to remember.