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How to password protect an excel file but allow read only

July 22, 2022

Password protection is important for any type of spreadsheet.  Protecting a Word document is easy. What about Password protecting Excel? Not so much. Password Protecting an Excel workbook is actually quite simple and easy to do.

 Creating a password-protected excel file is straightforward.  This post will help you get your hands on the best method for securing your excel sheets with passwords. Let’s dive in, but before that’s let us explain why password protecting your excel file is important

How to password protect an excel file

You can password protect an Excel worksheet with a simple click of a button. This is especially useful if you have multiple people working on your spreadsheet and you want to keep it away from them, without wasting any further time let’s dive deep into how to protect an excel file

This method works best with versions 2010/2013/2016.

Saving the file :

  1. Click on the Menu tab in the top left corner of Excel, then choose Save as.

  1. Choose the Encrypt” option while saving

  1. Under the security tab, your password in the box that appears below it, re-enter to confirm that password. Choose OK when done entering it.

  1. Click on the ok button at the bottom of the window, then go back to the original excel file, and there you will see a lock icon next to each cell that has been secured by a password

Additional Security

  1. Furthermore, you can also check the read-only, this is a very handy option while working online because it makes the content of your worksheet, noneditable for your colleagues working with

  2. Now after this whenever anyone to whom you send this file online has to enter the password you assigned to open

  3. Now you have learned how to successfully password protect an excel file

Note: Always use a password that you will not forget because there is no way of recovering a forgotten password

How to remove Password protect from excel file

If you want to remove password protect from excel file then follow the steps given below.

1: First of all go to the location where you want to open your excel file and click on the save as option

2: Now click the encrypt option, here you will see the password of your file ,remove that password.

3: Now click on “save” button and now it will be opened as normal excel document without any password protection on it.

How to password protect single sheet in excel

Sometimes instead of password protecting the whole worksheet ,you want to protect only one sheet ,here’s how you can do this

1.Open your work sheet

2.Under the review tab click “Protect sheet”

3. Lock this sheet with the password of your choice



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Best Alternative-WPS Office

WPS Office is indeed a powerful office processing software that provides a viable alternative to Microsoft Office. It offers similar features, including the ability to set passwords in Excel to protect privacy. Users can utilize WPS Office to password protect their Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and PowerPoint slides in various ways. WPS Office provides a user-friendly interface and a range of security options to safeguard sensitive information.


1. Can I password-protect specific cells or ranges within an Excel worksheet? 

Yes, Excel allows you to protect specific cells or ranges within a worksheet. You can use the "Protect Sheet" option and define which cells or ranges should be protected with a password.

2. Is Excel password protection 100% secure? 

While Excel password protection provides a level of security, it may not be considered 100% secure. Advanced users or hackers might find ways to bypass or crack the passwords, so it's essential to use strong passwords and take additional security measures when needed.

3. Is it safe to store account credentials in an Excel sheet protected with a password? 

Storing account credentials in an Excel sheet, even if password-protected, is not the most secure method. It is recommended to use dedicated password managers or secure databases to store sensitive information securely.

Final Thoughts on Excel Password Protection

In conclusion, protecting your Excel files with passwords is essential for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining privacy. This article has provided valuable information on how to set passwords in Excel to protect your files effectively. Whether you choose to password protect the entire workbook or specific worksheets, taking these security measures adds an extra layer of protection.

While Microsoft Office is commonly used for password protection, an alternative option worth considering is WPS Office. WPS Office offers a powerful suite of office processing software that includes Excel, Word, and PowerPoint functionalities. Users can rely on WPS Office to password protect their Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and PowerPoint slides. With its user-friendly interface and robust security options, WPS Office provides a viable alternative to Microsoft Office.

Remember, when setting passwords, it is important to choose strong and memorable ones, following best practices for password creation. However, it is worth noting that password protection in Excel, including in WPS Office, may not guarantee 100% security. 

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.