How to Enable Editing in Excel (5 Scenarios)

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To enable editing in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Enter the password if the file is password-protected or move to the next step.
  3. You can run into two scenarios here:
    a. If the sheets are protected, click on Enable Editing in the warning message on top of the sheet
    b. If the workbook is marked as final or in read-only mode, click on Edit Anyway in the warning message on top of the sheet.

After that, you can make your edits in the workbook.


Enable editing refers to gaining access to the edit mode, which is unavailable under normal circumstances. A creator or user can make a workbook unavailable for further editing for many reasons. The user may want to protect the data or formats and prevent data loss, or unauthorized alterations of data.

In this Excel tutorial, you will learn how to enable editing when you cannot access the edit mode feature.

In the following image, the workbook is uneditable. It is in the protected mode. The event can happen for files from unknown sources or its previous user deemed to do so.

How to Enable Editing in Excel


5 Scenarios to Enable Editing in Excel

Here, we have 5 different scenarios where we have to enable editing. These files are in different forms such as protected view, marked as final, read-only, and password protected. Go through the following cases to enable editing in your Excel files:


Enabling Edit Mode

You can easily make changes to the content of a cell right from the formula bar with the Edit mode. You can go into the Edit mode in three ways: Double-clicking a cell, pressing the F2 key, and editing by selecting the formula bar.

However, the Edit mode may not be always enabled. Here, you can find a dataset that you cannot edit.

How to Enable Editing in Excel

You can turn on Edit mode by following these few steps:

  1. Click on the File tab.
    Enable Editing in Excel Using Excel Options
  2. Then, click on Options.

    Now, the Excel Options dialog box will appear.
  3. Go to Advanced and enable Allow editing directly in cell from the Editing options section.
  4. Press OK.
    checking allow editing directly option

Now, you can edit the file by clicking on the cell.

Enable Editing in Excel Using Excel Options


Enable Editing in Excel Protected View

Protected View is a security feature that helps prevent the file from opening and executing potentially harmful content. It is designed to provide an extra layer of protection against files collected from untrusted sources.

Keeping it enabled, enhances the security of the Excel environment. So, disable it with caution.

When you open a protected Excel file, you will see a Protected View message at the top of the formula bar.

Enable Editing in Excel In Protected View

We can enable editing in Excel in a protected view in different ways. They are:

1. From Warning Message

There is a warning that appears on top of the worksheet once you open a protected file. To enable the editing of the file, click on the Enable Editing button.

After that, you may edit your Excel file as you wish.

Enable Editing in Excel Clicking Enable Editing

2. Using Info Feature

This is the warning that appears on top of the worksheet once you open the file.

Follow the given steps below to unprotect the workbook using the info feature:

  1. Click on the File tab.
    Enable Editing in Excel Using Excel Options
  2. Then go to the Info bar and click on Enable Editing.
    Using Info Feature Enable Editing in Excel
  3. After that, a box may appear asking if you want to open it as read-only. Click on No.

Finally, you can now Edit your file as you wish.

Enable Editing in Excel Clicking Enable Editing

3. Using Trust Center Settings

You can disable the message permanently from the Trust Center settings. It is a place to manage security settings.

To enable editing in Excel without the warning message, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the File tab.
  2. Now select Options from the backstage view.
    selecting options from the backstage view
  3. In Excel Options, select Trust Center tab from the left and Trust Center Settings from the right.
    selecting trust center settings from options
  4. In the Trust Center, select Protected View tab and uncheck all the options under the Protected View section on the right.
    unchecking trust center options
  5. Press OK and close the Options box.

Now you can edit normally after opening a workbook.

Enable Editing in Excel Clicking Enable Editing


Enable Editing for Marked as Final Excel Files

The “Marked as Final” files are what the creator indicated to be complete and didn’t intend for others to make any changes. It is, however, not always the case and we need to bypass the system to edit the file again.

These files will have a “marked as final” warning message on top of the worksheet.

Clicking on Edit Anyway Enable Editing in Excel

To enable editing for marked as safe files, click on the Edit Anyway button.

Clicking on Edit Anyway Enable Editing in Excel

Now, you will be able to edit your file as you wish.


Enable Editing for Read-Only Excel Files

Similar to the “Marked as Final” files, you can open and view the “Read-Only” files.

These files contain the “Read-Only” warning messages on top of the worksheet. It contains the message that the author had saved the file as read-only.

Clicking on Edit Anyway to Enable Editing

To enable editing Read-only Excel files, click on the Edit Anyway button.

Now, you will find your cells in Edit mode and may edit them as you wish.

Clicking on Edit Anyway to Enable Editing


Using Password to Enable Editing for Password-Protected File

Creators or users encrypt passwords to files to deny general accessibility. Excel’s password can be of two types- one used for opening the file and another protecting the structure of the workbook. You need both of them to modify a workbook if the file contains both passwords.

Here are the steps to enable editing a password-protected Excel file:

  1. After opening a Password-protected Excel file, it asks for a password.
    Using Password to Enable Editing in Excel
  2. Write down the Password of that Excel File.
    (Here, the Password is 12345)
  3. Then, click on OK.
  4. If the file also has a Modified Password, another box will open asking for a Password.
    Using Password Enable Editing in Excel
  5. Write down the Modified Password.
    (the Password is 6789 in this case)
  6. Then click on OK.
    Using Password to Enable Editing in Excel

Finally, you can now Edit your Excel file.


Download Practice Workbook

To open the file use the password 12345 and to modify the file use the password 6789.

Conclusion

So, in this article, you will find five different scenarios to Enable Editing in Excel. Use any of these ways according to the Excel file type you are using to accomplish the result in this regard. Feel free to comment if something seems difficult to understand or anything we might have missed here.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I allow all to edit in Excel?

To allow all to edit in Excel, you need to share the workbook. Follow these steps to share the workbook:

  1. Click Share on the top-right of Excel interface.
  2. Set permissions after that. Check/uncheck Allow editing option depending on whether you want users to view or edit the file.

What is the shortcut key for enable editing in Excel?

The shortcut key to access the edit mode is F2. It will take you to the editing mode from the active cell.

How do I lock edit in Excel?

You can lock edit for cells using the following steps:

  1. Select the cells.
  2. Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells.
  3. Go to the Protection tab and check the locked box option.
  4. Press OK after that.

This will lock the cells for any further edits.


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Arin Islam
Arin Islam

Anowara Islam Arin, a graduate of Civil Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh, serves as a technical content creator in the ExcelDemy project. Possessing a passion for innovation and critical thinking, she actively embraces challenges. Beyond her engineering background, Arin exhibits a keen interest in Excel, having authored numerous articles on Excel & VBA-related issues to simplify the experience for users facing obstacles in Excel. Besides, she is also interested in Advanced Excel,... Read Full Bio

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