How to Lock a Row in Google Sheets?

Do you need to protect a row in your Google Sheets document from being edited by others? Maybe you have formulas in that row that you don’t want changed, or maybe you don’t want people to accidentally overwrite important data. Whatever the reason, read on to learn how to lock a row in Google Sheets!
how to lock a row in google sheets

How Does Locking Cells, Rows and Columns Work?

When you lock cells in Google Sheets, those cells are protected from being edited. This means that other people who view or edit the document will not be able to make changes to the locked cells. The only way they can edit a locked cell is if you unlock it first or set permissions for them.

Locking cells is a good way to prevent accidental changes to your data, and it can also be helpful if you need to collaborate with others on a spreadsheet but want to make sure that certain cells are not changed. Now, let’s see how to lock a row in Google Sheets.

How to Lock a Row in Google Sheets – Step by Step

In this guide, we’ll focus on locking rows, but you can follow similar steps to lock cells or columns. So, how to lock a row in Google Sheets? Here’s how!

  1. Right-click on the row you want to lock. You need to do it on the row number on the left, not on a cell within that row.
  2. Hover your mouse over the bottom option called “View more row actions.”
  3. Again, select the bottom option – “Protect range.”
  4. A box will open on the right side of your screen.
  5. In the “Description” field, write a short description of what this range is used for. This is optional, but it’s a good idea to do it so that you remember why you locked this row later.
  6. Under the “Range” section, leave the range unchanged (unless you want to exclude some cells from the lock).
  7. Click on the “Set permissions” button. Now, you have two options: “Show a warning when editing this range” and “Restrict who can edit this range.” Choose the latter if you want to prevent anyone from editing the locked row. Otherwise, choose the former if you want people to be able to edit the row but receive a warning first to avoid accidents.
  8. Select who can edit the locked row. The default setting is “Only you,” but you can change it to “Custom” and enter the emails of the people you want to give permission to.
  9. Click on the “Done” button.
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And that’s it! Now you know how to lock a row in Google Sheets and protect it from being edited by others. Just remember that you need to be the owner of the document in order to be the only person who can lock and unlock cells, rows, and columns.

What Happens If Someone Tries to Edit the Protected Row?

If you’ve locked a row in Google Sheets and someone tries to edit it, they will receive an error message. It will say that the row is protected and that they need to contact the owner of the document to make changes.

If you’ve chosen to show a warning when editing the protected row but not restrict who can edit it, they will still be able to make changes to that row, but they will receive a warning first. It will say “Heads up! You’re trying to edit part of this sheet that shouldn’t be changed accidentally. Edit anyway?”. Neat, isn’t it?

How to Unlock a Locked Row?

Has something changed and you need to let people edit the locked row after all? No problem! Just follow these steps:

  • Go to “Data” -> “Protected sheets and ranges.”
  • Click on the name of the range you want to unlock.
  • Click on the trashcan icon to delete the range.

And that’s it! The row is now unlocked and people can edit it again. Locking rows in Google Sheets is a great way to protect your data, but it’s important to remember that you can always unlock the row if you need to.

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Do you have any other questions about how to lock a row in Google Sheets? Let us know in the comments below!

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