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

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


  • Select the Excel file and right-click on the mouse.
  • Select Properties.

This Excel Workbook Was Opened in Read-Only Mode

  • A  dialog box will pop out. There, in the General tab, uncheck the box for Read-only.
  • Press OK.

  • You can edit the file after opening it.

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


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

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • Go to the File window.
  • Click Save As ➤ Browse.

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • The Save As dialog box will emerge.
  • Choose General Options from the Tools drop-down.

Resave Excel Workbook to Deactivate Read-Only Mode

  • The General Options dialog box will appear.
  • Uncheck the box for Read-only recommended.
  • Press OK and save the file.

  • You can make changes.

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


  • Edit the file as much as necessary.
  • Choose Save As in the File window, instead of Save.

  • Now, you can modify the Excel workbook without.

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


  • Go to File ➤ Options at first.
  • The Excel Options dialog box will pop out.
  • In the Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.

Uncheck Protected View for Solving Read-Only Mode Problem

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

  • You can make changes to the file.

Method 5 – Marked As Final Excel Workbook Prevents Users from Editing


  • Go to the File window.
  • Select Info.
  • Remove the selection for ‘Mark as Final’ in the Protect Workbook.

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

  • 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.

Method 6 – Protected Excel Workbook Opens in Read-Only Mode


  • 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

  • You’ll see the Review tab in the image below.

Method 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.

Method 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.

Method 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.

Method 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.

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<< Go Back to Excel Read Only | Protect Workbook in Excel | Excel Protect | Learn Excel







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Aung Shine
Aung Shine

Aung Shine completed his bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. It has been almost 2 years since he joined SOFTEKO and actively working on the ExcelDemy project. Currently he works as a Team Leader where he guides his team members to create technical content. He has published 150+ articles and reviewed 50+ articles. He has also solved various user problems before. He has interests in Data Analysis, Power Query, Advanced Excel,... Read Full Bio

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