In this article, we will learn how to protect an Excel sheet from copy–paste. Sometimes, we make large datasets in our sheets and perform various operations. So, we want to protect the excel sheet from copy-paste so that everything remains the same in our sheet. Again, we don’t want others to use our secret excel sheet and copy-paste the information. That is why we will discuss four easy ways to protect sheets from copy-paste here.
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4 Ways to Protect Excel Sheet from Copy-Paste
1. Use Info Option to Protect Excel Sheet from Copy-Paste
The easiest way to protect your sheet from copy-paste is to use the ‘Info’ option. To explain this method, we will use a dataset that contains the sales amount of the first five months of some sellers. We will discuss two sub-methods here.
1.1 Secure Workbook with Password
You can secure the workbook with a password to protect it from copy-paste. Whenever someone tries to open your sheet, excel will ask for the password. If anybody enters the wrong password, the excel sheet will not open. You must use this if your workbook contains very important pieces of information.
Let’s follow the steps to know more.
- First, go to the FILE tab at the left-top corner of your screen.
- Second, select Info.
- Third, select Protect Workbook and then, select Encrypt with Password.
- Now, the Encrypt Document window will appear.
- After that, type the password you want to set and click OK.
- Reenter the password to confirm and again, click OK.
- Finally, if someone opens your workbook, it will show a message like below.
1.2 Make an Excel Sheet Read-Only
We can also protect our excel sheet from copy-paste by making it read-only. Anybody can open a read-only excel file but it will display a message to prevent users from copy-pasting or editing. To do so, follow the steps below.
- In the beginning, go to the File tab and select Info.
- Then, select Protect Workbook and then, select Mark as Final.
- Now, Microsoft Excel will open. Click OK to proceed.
- Finally, if someone opens the file, he/she will see a message at the top of the sheet.
Alternatively, you can also make your workbook a read-only file while saving. For that purpose follow the steps below.
- Select Tool at first.
- Then, select General Options.
- The General Options window will open. Type a password there and check the ‘Read-only recommended’ box.
- Lastly, reenter the password to confirm and click OK.
Read More: How to Protect Excel Sheet from Viewing Using Password
2. Prevent Excel Sheet from Copy-Paste with Review Tab
You can also use the REVIEW tab to protect your sheet from copy-paste. This method is very helpful if you want to protect a single sheet or individual sheets in your workbook. Let’s follow the steps to learn more about this technique.
- In the first place, go to the Review tab and select Protect Sheet.
- Secondly, a Protect Sheet window will occur. Type the password you want to set. Click OK to proceed.
- Finally, reenter the password to confirm.
- Now, if someone wants to copy-paste, excel will show a message like this.
- To unprotect the sheet, go to the Review tab and select Unprotect Sheet.
- Type your password and click OK to unprotect the sheet.
Read More: How to Protect a Worksheet in Excel (6 Effective Ways)
- How to Protect an Excel Sheet Except for Certain Cells (2 Ways)
- Password-Protect Hidden Sheets in Excel (3 Suitable Methods)
3. Apply VBA to Protect Sheet from Copy-Paste in Excel
Microsoft Excel provides us with the opportunity to create any program to perform any tasks automatically. We use Visual Basic for Applications or VBA for this purpose. We can use VBA to protect our excel sheet from copy-paste. Basically, we create some codes in the VBA window that completes our desired tasks.
Let’s observe the steps below.
- Firstly, go to the DEVELOPER tab and select Visual Basic from there. The Visual Basic window will open.
- Now, double click on the sheet you want to apply the VBA.
- Then, select Worksheet in the (General) field.
We selected the Worksheet in the General field to set the code for the specific excel sheet, otherwise, it would work for the whole workbook.
- After that, you will see some code in the window like below.
- Type the code below.
Application.CutCopyMode = False
- Actually, it is a command that will disable the copy-paste option in the desired sheet.
Read More: Excel VBA: Protect Sheet with Password and Allow Filter
4. Lock Cells to Secure an Excel Sheet from Copy-Paste
Sometimes, we need to protect some specific cells so that others can’t copy-paste them. We can also lock all cells to protect our worksheet from copy-paste. This method is more useful when you want to lock some specific cells.
Let’s follow the steps below to know more.
- Click the Select All button at first.
- Now, right-click your mouse and select ‘Format Cells’ from the drop-down menu.
- Then, the Format Cells window will occur.
- After that, go to Protection and check the Locked Click OK to proceed.
Read More: Excel VBA to Protect Sheet but Allow to Select Locked Cells (2 Examples)
Things To Remember
Sometimes, people can still copy-paste the cells of your excel sheet after locking cells. There are many reasons behind it. So, if you want to stop someone from copy-pasting completely, the first three methods will be absolutely perfect.
We have demonstrated four easy and effective methods to protect an excel sheet from copy-paste here. We have also discussed the necessity of preventing someone from copy-pasting. I hope these methods will help you to protect your excel sheet from copy-paste. Furthermore, we have also added the practice book at the beginning of the article. You can download it to exercise. Last of all, if you have any queries or suggestions, feel free to ask in the comment section.
Is there a way for me to sell a workbook to customers A, B, C etc. that prevents any customers from sending a working copy to others?
Hi Scott. Unfortunately, no, there isn’t. If you pass your password to a client and if he chooses to share it with anyone else they will be able to access the file too. It’s a limitation like any other login service.