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Excel Guide

Formula Security: A Guide on How to Lock Cell Formulas in Excel

Locking cell formulas in Excel is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your calculations and preventing inadvertent changes. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of locking cell formulas, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of your Excel spreadsheet.

Understanding the Importance of Locking Cell Formulas

Locking cell formulas is essential to safeguard complex calculations and prevent accidental alterations. Whether you're working with financial models, data analyses, or any scenario where precision is vital, knowing how to lock cell formulas enhances the security of your Excel workbook.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Spreadsheet

1.1 Open the Excel file containing the cell formulas you want to lock.

Step 2: Select Cells with Formulas

2.1 Identify the cells containing the formulas you want to lock. Click and drag to select these cells.

Step 3: Navigate to the "Format Cells" Dialog

3.1 Right-click on the selected cells and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu.3.2 Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog.

Step 4: Go to the "Protection" Tab

4.1 In the Format Cells dialog, navigate to the "Protection" tab.

Step 5: Check the "Locked" Box

5.1 Check the "Locked" box to indicate that the selected cells should be locked.

Step 6: Click "OK"

6.1 Click "OK" to close the Format Cells dialog.

Step 7: Protect the Worksheet

7.1 Go to the "Review" tab in the Excel ribbon.7.2 Click on "Protect Sheet."

Step 8: Set a Password (Optional)

8.1 If you want to add an additional layer of security, you can set a password to protect the sheet.8.2 Enter and confirm your password, and click "OK."

Step 9: Confirm Sheet Protection Settings

9.1 In the Protect Sheet dialog, review the settings and choose the actions users are allowed to perform (e.g., select locked cells, format cells).9.2 Click "OK" to apply the protection.

Step 10: Save Your Workbook

10.1 Save your Excel file to ensure that the cell formulas remain locked.


Locking cell formulas in Excel is a fundamental practice for securing complex calculations and maintaining the accuracy of your spreadsheet. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you'll be equipped to protect critical formulas from unintentional changes. Whether you're working on financial analyses, scientific computations, or any data-driven task, the ability to lock cell formulas enhances the security and reliability of your Excel workbooks.