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How to Make Excel File Read Only (2 Quick Methods)

If you want no one can edit or update your Excel file without your permission, you can make your Excel file read-only. No problem if you don’t know how to make an Excel file read-only. In this article, we will discuss the whole process to make Excel files read-only. We will also show how we can disable the read-only option from an Excel file.


Download Practice Workbook

Download (password:123456) this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.


2 Ways to Make Excel File Read Only

There are two ways to make Excel files read-only. One is without a password and another one is password protected. Please have a look at the below section for details.

1. Make an Excel File Read Only without Password

Here, we will make Excel file read-only without a password.

📌 Steps:

  • First, click on the File tab.
  • Choose the Save As option from the left side.
  • After that, click on More options.

Save newly the existing file for Read only on Excel

  • A window of File Explorer is showing where the existing file is currently.
  • In the Save As dialog box, we get the Tools option at the bottom right corner of the dialog box.
  • Click on it. A drop-down will appear. You will find 4 options in the drop-down.
  • Select General Options.

  • The General Options dialog box will appear.
  • In this dialog box, click on the Read-only recommended check box.
  • After that, click OK.

Select Read only option before save in Excel

  • The Save As dialog box will appear again. Just click on the Save button and save the file.

Select new location in File Explorer for the read only file

So, our file is saved as Read-Only.

  • Now open the saved file again.
  • When we click on the file to open it, a Microsoft Excel dialog box will pop up with a message.

If you do not want to open the file as read-only, you will select the No button. The user will be able to edit or update the file. If you want to open the file as read-only, you will press the Yes option.

  • We have selected the Yes button, and you see the file has opened in Read-only mode.

Our file is in read-only mode without a password.

Read More: [Solved]: All Excel Files Opening as Read Only (6 Solutions)


2. Make a Password Protected Read Only Excel File

In our previous steps, you have seen we have shown you how to make an Excel file read-only without a password. In that way, the read-only file can be opened in editable mode by all. This is a problem if you want nobody can edit your file. In that case, you can make your file read-only with a password. It means that to make the read-only file editable, the user(s) must have the password.

Let’s see how you can do that.

When we were making our Excel file read-only in our previous discussion, you had seen the General Options dialog box like the picture below. You see there are two password fields in the dialog box.

  • Password to open: This one is to protect the file from opening
  • Password to modify: This one is to protect the file from modification.

We don’t want to restrict our users from opening our files. So, we will not apply any password in the Password to open field.

We want to restrict my users from modifying the file. So, we will apply a password in the Password to modify section.

📌 Steps:

  • Input a password in the Password to modify box of the General Options dialog box.
  • After that, press OK.

Protect read only file with password

  • Confirm Password dialog box appears.
  • Confirm your password again and click the OK button.

  • Now, save the file from the Save As dialog box.

  • After completing all the processes we try to open the Excel file.
  • The Password dialog box will appear.

It means our file is converted into password-protected read-only mode.

Read More: How to Make Excel Workbook Read Only with Password (With Easy Steps)


How to Open a Read Only Excel File

Our file is now read-only using a password. We will show you how to open this kind of file.

📌 Steps:

  • Double-click on the file to open.
  • The Password dialog box will pop up. The dialog box has some information for you. It says: the file is reserved by someone. If you don’t have the password, you can open the file as Read Only.

Open read only file without password

  • And if you want to edit the file you have to enter the password.
  • Then, press OK.

Open read only file with password

When we open the file as just read-only, we will not be able to edit or update the file.


How to Disable Read Only Mode in Excel

We already showed types of read-only files in Excel.  One could be just made read-only and another one could be password protected.

Now, we will show how to disable the read-only mode of Excel files.

1. When Read Only File Is Not Protected with Password

If the read-only excel file is made without any password, you can easily disable the read-only from the file.

📌 Steps:

  • Double-click on the file to open it. The Microsoft Excel dialog box appears.
  • Select the No option.

Open password unprotected read only file

  • Look at the dataset.

We can not see the Read Only anymore.


2. When Read Only File Is Password-Protected

We cannot directly disable the read-only option from an Excel file if the file is password protected.

So, when you click on a read-only Excel file (password protected) to open it, the Password dialog box will appear. As we don’t have the password, we have to follow a trick.

📌 Steps:

  • First, open the Excel file.
  • The Password dialog box appears. Click on the Read Only button to open the file as read-only.

Now if you make any change in the read-only workbook, you will not be able to save the workbook. If you want to save the workbook, you need to save the workbook with a new name or in a different location.

  • So, go to the Save As option from the File tab.
  • Save the file with a different name in the same folder.

Make a copy of password protected read only file

We can also save the file with the same name in another folder.

  • Look at the newly created workbook.

Read-only mode no more exists. So, these are the ways to make an Excel file read-only and disable read-only from a read-only Excel file.


Conclusion

In this article, we described how to make Excel file read-only. We also showed how to open and remove read-only mode from Excel. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website Exceldemy.com and give your suggestions in the comment box.


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Kawser

Kawser

Hello! Welcome to my Excel blog! It took me some time to be a fan of Excel. But now I am a die-hard fan of MS Excel. I learn new ways of doing things with Excel and share them here. Not only a how-to guide on Excel, but you will get also topics on Finance, Statistics, Data Analysis, and BI. Stay tuned! You can check out my courses at Udemy: udemy.com/user/exceldemy/

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