How to Unlock Excel Sheet for Editing (With Quick Steps)

We usually protect Excel sheets for security. When we protect a sheet, some features become disabled like editing, formatting, inserting, etc. If we want to enable any of those features, we need to unlock the Excel Sheet. In this article, we will discuss how to unlock Excel sheet for editing them.

How to Unlock Password Protected Excel Sheet for Editing (Step-by-Step)

In this section, we will show the way to unlock a protected Excel Sheet for editing. When a worksheet is in protected mode, we will see the Unprotect Sheet button appear in the Review tab.

And also, if we want to edit or insert anything in a protected sheet the warning window will appear.

Here, we will show how to unlock a password-protected Excel sheet. For a password-protected sheet, we must know the password to unlock it. Follow the steps below.


  • Go to the Review tab.
  • Then click on the Unprotect Sheet option from the Protect group.
  • Now, a window will appear to input the password. We write the password on the box and then press OK.

  • We can also avail of this option from the Sheet Name.
  • Press the right button of the mouse and get the Unprotect Sheet option from the Context Menu.

Unlock a Password-Protected Excel Sheet

The keyboard shortcut for unprotecting sheet is: Alt+H+O+P

There is one more option for unlocking. Choose the Format option from the Cells group of the Home tab.

Unlock a Password-Protected Excel Sheet

Alternative Approaches to Unlock Excel Sheet for Editing

Sometimes, it happens that the Excel sheet is not locked, but still, you cannot edit anything in it. In the following section, we will discuss the probable solution along with the reasons for causing such problems.

1. Creating Copy of Shared Excel File or Wait Till Current Editor Closes It

Sometimes it happens that we share an Excel file with other people. Now, if any of them opens the shared file, the other users will see a warning that the file is locked for editing by other users. The other users can open the Excel file in the Read-Only mode, they cannot edit that Excel sheet.

In such a situation, other users can make a copy of that file and edit the sheets, or they have to wait until the present user closes the Excel file.

2. Closing Microsoft Excel App Running in Background

Sometimes we find ourselves unable to edit sheets when the Excel sheet is not in shared mode or no user is currently using that file. One reason for that may be the Microsoft Office or Excel application is running in the background. In such a case, we need to close the Office or Excel file from the task manager. After that, we will be able to edit our desired worksheet.

Close Microsoft Excel App Running in Background for editing Excel Sheet

3. Ignoring ‘Marked As Final’ Tag and Edit Anyway

If the author discourages editing a workbook using the Mark As Final feature, you can still edit the file. Just open the Excel file and click on the Edit Anyway button. Now you can edit your Excel file as you need…

Ignore ‘Marked As Final’ Tag and Edit Anyway of an Excel Sheet

4. Copying Data from Protected Sheet to Another for Editing

If a worksheet is protected, you can still see it in protected mode. We will copy the information to another sheet and will be able to edit the data.


  • First, select the whole dataset. Then, copy the data from the Data Set sheet by pressing Ctrl+C.

  • Then, go to cell B1 of the New Sheet.
  • Press Ctrl+V to paste the data.

Copy Data from a Protected Sheet to Another for Editing

Now, we can edit data from the New Sheet.

Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article. This worksheet is password protected and the password is 12345.


In this article, we explained how to unlock a protected Excel sheet for editing. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please give your suggestions in the comment box if you have any. Goodbye!

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Alok Paul
Alok Paul

Alok Paul has completed his B.Sc. in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from East West University. He has been working on the ExcelDemy project for more than 2 years. He has written 220+ articles and replied to numerous comments. He is experienced in Microsoft Office, especially in Excel. He also led some teams on Excel and VBA content development. He has a keen interest in Advanced Excel, Data analysis, Excel Pivot Table, Charts, and Dashboard. He loves to research... Read Full Bio

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