How to Lock a Cell in Excel Formula (2 Easy Ways)

Method 1 – Assigning a Dollar Sign ($) Manually to Cell References


  • Let’s calculate the speed of light for the Water medium.
  • Select cell C9 to store the calculated value.
  • Insert the following formula:
  • These are now relative cell references.

how to lock a cell in excel formula

  • Add Dollar Signs ($) before all the row and column numbers like this:
  • Hit Enter.

how to lock a cell in excel formula manually

Read More: How to Lock Certain Cells in Excel

Method 2 – Using the F4 Hotkey

  • Select a cell to store the calculated value.
  • Insert an equals sign.
  • Insert a formula and a cell reference.
  • Click on the cell reference you need to lock.
  • Press F4.
  • Continue with the formula.
  • Whenever you’re typing in a cell reference, press F4 to lock it.

how to lock a cell in excel formula using F4

  • Hit Enter.

Read More: Protect Excel Cells But Allow Data Entry

Additional Tips

You can toggle between Relative, Absolute, and Mixed cell references by pressing the F4 hotkey.

Part 1 – Toggle from Relative to Absolute Cell Reference

  • Select the Cell Reference in the Formula Bar.

  • Press the F4 key.

Part 2 – Toggle from Absolute to Relative Cell Reference

  • Press the F4 key. The row numbers are locked up now.

  • Press the F4 key again to lock the column number from the row number.

Part 3 – Toggle back to Relative Cell Reference

  • Press the F4 key once again.

Things to Remember

  • Assign a Dollar Sign ($) before the row and the column number to lock a cell.
  • Use the F4 hotkey to lock a cell instantly.
  • Pressing F4 cycles between the four possible cell reference options: relative > absolute > locked row > locked column > relative.

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Mrinmoy Roy
Mrinmoy Roy

Mrinmoy Roy, a dedicated professional with a BSc in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Bangladesh, brings over two years of expertise to the ExcelDemy project. As a prolific contributor, he has authored around 180 articles, showcasing his deep knowledge and passion for Microsoft Excel, Data Analysis, and VBA. His unwavering commitment to continuous learning, combined with versatile skills, renders him well-suited for roles in data management and spreadsheet solutions. He has interest... Read Full Bio

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