[Fixed!] This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Mode

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We work in our Excel workbook all the time. And very frequently, we need to update the worksheet or edit it. But, the Read-Only Mode prevents us from making any changes to the file. There can be some reasons for a file to be in non-editing mode. In this article, we’ll show you the possible reasons and the effective solutions for the ‘This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Modeissue.

1. Enabled Read-Only Attribute Makes Excel Workbook to Open in Read-Only Mode

The Read-only attribute in the File Properties prohibits us from making any changes to the Excel file. Therefore, follow the steps below to solve this problem.


  • First, select the Excel file and right-click on the mouse.
  • Then, select Properties.

This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Mode

  • As a result, a dialog box will pop out. There, in the General tab, uncheck the box for Read-only.
  • Lastly, press OK.

  • Thus, you can edit the file after opening it.

Read More: How to Remove Read Only from Excel

2. Excel Workbook Opens in Read-Only Mode Due to  Saving the File in Read-only Recommended Setting

If you happen to save the file in the ‘Read-only recommended’ setting, you can’t edit it anymore. So, learn the steps below to resave the Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode.


  • Firstly, open the Excel workbook.
  • In the pop-out warning box, press No.

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • Now, go to the File window.
  • Next, click Save As ➤ Browse.

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • Consequently, the Save As dialog box will emerge.
  • After that, choose General Options from the Tools drop-down.

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • As a result, the General Options dialog box will appear.
  • There, uncheck the box for Read-only recommended.
  • Finally, press OK and save the file.

  • Therefore, you can make changes.

3. Activated Read-Only Mode in Excel Prevents Users from Editing

However, there is another way to solve the read-only mode problem. Hence, follow the process.


  • First of all, edit the file as much as necessary.
  • Subsequently, choose Save As in the File window, instead of Save.

  • Now you can modify the Excel workbook without any difficulties.

4. Enabled Protected View Options Result in Read-Only Mode Issue

Additionally, certain settings in the Excel File Options block us from revising the workbook. Therefore, learn the following process to alter the settings.


  • Go to File ➤ Options at first.
  • As a result, the Excel Options dialog box will pop out.
  • Then, in the Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.

Uncheck Protected View for Solving Read-Only Mode Problem

  • Consequently, in the Trust Center dialog box, select the Protected View tab.
  • Afterward, under the Protected View section, uncheck all the boxes there.
  • Press OK and go back to the workbook window.

  • At last, you can make changes to the file.

5. Marked As Final Excel Workbook Prevents Users from Editing

If someone sets an Excel file as the final version, you can’t edit it anymore. Hence, watch the following steps to remove the setting.


  • In the beginning, go to the File window.
  • Then, select Info.
  • After that, remove the selection for ‘Mark as Final’ in the Protect Workbook.

Avoid Opening in Read-Only by Removing ‘Mark as Final’ Setting

  • Also, when you open the final version of an Excel file, you’ll see a warning message like it’s shown below. There, you can choose ‘Edit Anyway’ to edit the workbook.

6. Protected Excel Workbook Opens in Read-Only Mode

Moreover, if a sheet or a workbook is protected, we can’t make changes. So, learn how to unprotect it.


  • First, go to the Review tab.
  • Press Unprotect Sheet and Protect Workbook to remove the selection on them.

Unprotect Excel Workbook to Disable Read-Only Attribute

  • Lastly, you will see the Review tab as shown in the below image.

7. Shared Excel Workbook Prevents Co-Authors from Offline Editing

Sometimes, you can’t edit the file with the desktop MS Excel app due to the co-authoring feature. Try to edit it in Office Online. It can solve the problem.

Read More: [Fixed!] Excel Files Open as Read Only from Network

8. Antivirus Settings on PC Will Open Excel Workbook in Read-Only Mode

Some Antivirus apps may take the Excel files as a threat. So. they will open the files in read-only mode. Therefore, look for the Antivirus Settings where you can allow the Excel files to open normally.

9. Expired Office App Results in Read-Only Mode of Excel Workbook

Again, if the subscription to Office apps gets canceled or expires, you can’t edit the Excel workbook. Hence, renew the subscription to avoid the issue.

10. Older Office App Versions Will Open Latest Excel File Versions in Read-Only Mode

If the latest version of Office apps is not installed on the PC, the Excel files from other sources may open in read-only mode. Thus, updating the Office apps can easily remove the problem.

Things to Remember

It’s better to prevent the ‘This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Mode’ problem from occurring in the first place. For that purpose, follow the below notes carefully.

  • Save the files carefully. An accidental close of the file can result in a read-only mode issue.
  • Track the latest updates of the MS Excel app.
  • Check the subscription period of MS Office.
  • Use a trusted antivirus app and check for malware regularly.
  • Keep a backup copy of your Excel workbook.
  • Select the option for the final version of the workbook only when you’re sure of it.

Download Practice Workbook

Download the following workbook to practice by yourself.


Henceforth, you will be able to solve This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Mode issue by following the above-described solutions. Keep using them and let us know if you have more ways to do the task. Don’t forget to drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

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Aung Shine
Aung Shine

My name is Aung. I have my B.Sc. degree in EEE. From now on, I will be working with Microsoft Excel and other useful software, and I’ll upload articles related to them. My current goal is to write technical contents for anybody and everybody that will make the learning process of new software and features a happy journey.

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