Protect and Share Excel Workbook (2 Quick Methods)

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This article illustrates how to protect and share a workbook in Excel in 2 ways. If you share your workbook, anybody can undo it. Therefore you need to protect the sharing so that only you can decide whether to withhold it. This article shows how you can allow users only to edit your workbook and not allow them to share it. The following picture highlights the purpose of this article. Have a quick look to learn how to do that.

protect and share workbook in excel

Protect and Share Workbook in Excel: 2 Quick Ways

1. Use the Protect and Share Workbook Feature

You can use the Protect and Share Workbook feature in Excel to do that. Follow the steps below for that.

📌 Steps

  • First, check if your Excel has the Protect and Share Workbook feature in the Review tab as shown in the picture below.

  • If it is visible then go to Step 6. Otherwise, the Review tab will look as follows.

  • Now, press ALT+F+T to open the Excel Options window. Then, click on the Customize Ribbon tab. Next, expand the Review tab under the Main Tabs. Now, select New Group and, then click on Rename at the bottom right corner of the window.

  • Then you can select a Symbol for the group contents. Next, change the Display Name as required. Click OK after that.

  • Now, select All Commands from the ‘Choose commands from’ dropdown list. Then, scroll down and select the Protect Sharing (Legacy) command. Next, click on the Add button. After that, you can add the Share Workbook (Legacy) and Track Changes (Legacy) commands in the same way. Then, select OK. After that, you see those commands added in the Review tab.

  • Now, select Protect and Share Workbook from the Review tab.

Use the Protect and Share Workbook Feature

  • Then check the checkbox for Sharing with track changes. Next, enter a password. Then, click OK.

  • Next, reenter the password to confirm. Then, select OK.

  • After that, you will see the following warning. Now, select OK. Then, you will see the word Shared after the workbook name at the top of your Excel window.

  • Now, nobody will be able to change the shared condition of the workbook as the option will become greyed out.

Use the Protect and Share Workbook Feature

  • You can unprotect the workbook by providing the password. Then, you will be able to withhold it.

Read More: How to Protect Excel Workbook from Editing

2. Share a Workbook by Co-Authoring

You can use the CoAuthoring feature in newer Excel versions to allow users to view or edit your workbook. But, they won’t be able to decide whether to share it or not. Follow the steps below to see how to do that.

📌 Steps

  • First, click on the Share icon situated above the upper right corner of the ribbon. Alternatively, you can select File >>Share for that.

  • Next, select any server (Onedrive) from the list to upload the workbook so that people can access it.

  • Then, click on Anyone with the link can edit option.

  • Next, choose Specific People to allow only the specified users to edit your workbook. After that, select Apply.

  • Now, enter the email addresses of the people with whom you want to share the workbook. Then, click on Send.

Protect and Share an Excel Workbook by Co-Authoring

  • After that, you will see a confirmation message as follows.

Share a Workbook by Co-Authoring

  • Now, you can click on the Share icon to open the share window. Next, click on the three dots in the upper right corner. Select Manage access after that.

  • Now, to change the permission for any particular user, click on the option below the name of the user.

  • After that, you can either stop sharing or change the permission to view only.

Share a Workbook by Co-Authoring

Read More:  How to Mark Workbook as Final in Excel

Things to Remember

  • You must use a password to protect the sharing.
  • You need to upload the workbook on a server that is accessible to the users you want to share the workbook.

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from the download button below.


Now you know how to protect and share a workbook in Excel. Please let us know if this article has provided you with your desired solution. You can also use the comment section below for further queries or suggestions. Stay with us and keep learning.

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Md. Shamim Reza
Md. Shamim Reza

Hello there! This is Md. Shamim Reza. Working as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy. We try to find simple & easy solutions to the problems that Excel users face every day. Our goal is to gather knowledge, find innovative solutions through them and make those solutions available for everybody. Stay with us & keep learning.

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