How to Lock Cells in Excel Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Are you tired of accidentally modifying important data in your Excel spreadsheets on Mac? One way to prevent this is by locking cells in Excel.

When you lock cells, they become read-only, protecting the contents from accidental changes. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the process of locking cells in Excel on a Mac.

Step 1: Open your Excel spreadsheet

To lock cells in Excel on a Mac, open your spreadsheet by double-clicking on the file icon or launching Microsoft Excel and selecting “Open” from the File menu.

Step 2: Select the cells you want to lock

Select the cells that you want to lock by clicking and dragging over them with your mouse cursor. You can select individual cells or entire rows and columns.


  • To select multiple non-adjacent cells: Hold down the Command key while clicking on each cell.
  • To select an entire column or row: Click on its header letter (for columns) or number (for rows).

Step 3: Right-click and choose “Format Cells”

Once you have selected the desired cells, right-click anywhere within the selected area. A contextual menu will appear.

From this menu, choose “Format Cells. “

Step 4: Navigate to the “Protection” tab

In the “Format Cells” dialog box that appears, navigate to the “Protection” tab at the top.

Step 5: Check the “Locked” checkbox

Within the “Protection” tab, check the checkbox labeled “Locked.” This will indicate that these selected cells should be locked.

Step 6: Click “OK” and save your spreadsheet

Click the “OK” button to apply the changes and close the “Format Cells” dialog box. Finally, save your spreadsheet by clicking on “Save” from the File menu or using the shortcut Command + S.


By default, all cells in a new Excel spreadsheet are locked. However, this does not prevent users from making changes unless you protect the worksheet.

Step 7: Protect your worksheet (optional)

If you want to prevent users from modifying locked cells in your entire worksheet, you need to protect it. To do this:

  1. Click on the “Review” tab at the top of Excel’s toolbar.
  2. Select “Protect Sheet” from the toolbar. A dialog box will appear.
  3. Set a password (optional): In the dialog box, you can set a password that users must enter to unprotect the sheet. This step is optional but recommended for added security.
  4. Select additional options (optional): You can choose other options such as allowing certain actions (e.g., selecting locked cells) while protecting the sheet.
  5. Click “OK”: After selecting your desired options, click on the “OK” button to protect your worksheet and enforce cell locking.

Congratulations! You have successfully locked cells in Excel on your Mac. Now, only authorized users with the password (if set) can modify these cells while others can only view their contents.

To unlock cells or make changes to a protected worksheet, you need to unprotect the sheet. To do this:

  1. Navigate to the “Review” tab and select “Unprotect Sheet.”
  2. Enter the password (if set): If a password was set during protection, enter it to unprotect the sheet.

Remember, cell locking is only effective when the worksheet is protected. So, make sure to protect your worksheet after locking cells to ensure data integrity.

Now that you know how to lock cells in Excel on a Mac, you can safeguard your valuable data from accidental modifications and maintain data accuracy in your spreadsheets.

Android - iPhone - Mac

 © 2023 UI-Transitions

Privacy Policy