How to protect a range or sheet in Google Sheets

Protecting data from editing in Google Sheets is relevant only when it comes to collaborating on documents. You can restrict changes to specific users or everyone who has access to the document. This restriction can apply only to a specific range or the entire sheet.

Let’s take a closer look at how to properly manage this setting and ensure that the document is properly protected.

Change access settings for an entire sheet

Let’s be clear right away that the access setting is not exactly related to the topic of protecting a range or sheet, since it applies to the entire document. However, if you did come to this article and are interested in limiting the entire document, let’s briefly dwell on another setting that applies directly to the entire Table.

  1. If you are the owner, after opening the table, click the “Access Settings”button .
  2. If the message “Access is restricted”appears, you can skip this instruction, since the document is already available only to you.
  3. When you distribute by link or addresses, you will see a different message format. You can expand the corresponding menu to prevent all users from accessing this document.
  4. Note that you can optionally set permissions by granting read-only or comment access. Only a user with the status “Editor”will be able to make changes to your document.

Now it should be clear to you that this setting applies to the entire table and is usually suitable when it comes to opening access for reading and editing. Next, we will talk about protecting individual ranges or sheets of a single document. These settings may differ significantly from those set for the entire spreadsheet.

Adding protection to a range of data in a Google Sheet

Protecting the selected range in Google Sheets means that you, as the creator, set a ban on editing for all users, or make it so that when each user tries to make changes, each user sees the appropriate warning, but can ignore it. The choice of parameters is not something difficult and looks like this:

  1. First select the range you want to protect. If we are talking about a whole sheet, right-click on it right away and select the item “Protect sheet”from the context menu.
  2. For a range, in the context menu, which also opens by right-clicking, hover over Show More Cell Actionsand select Protect Range.
  3. Give it a description if you are going to create several of these settings for the same document. This will allow you not to get confused in the general list in the future.
  4. Make sure the range or sheet is correct. If anything, you can always make changes in the appropriate fields or return to the table to select cells with the left mouse button pressed.
  5. This completes the settings for the range itself, so let’s move on to protection by clicking on “Set Permissions”.
  6. You can check the “Show warning while editing this range” checkbox. Thus, each user who wants to change one of the cells will receive a message and will be able to ignore it, continuing editing.
  7. However, prohibition is the most commonly used. By default, only you as the creator can edit a range or sheet.
  8. If you expand the list and select “Configure”, then a form will appear for selecting users.
  9. In it, specify the addresses or names of those users to whom you also want to grant permission to edit. For everyone else, it will be prohibited.
  10. Usually, typing the first letters of an email address or name is enough to bring up a list of matching results.
  11. Confirm your changes and make sure your setting appears in the Protected Sheets and Rangeslist .

In the same way, you can create an unlimited number of protected ranges and sheets by setting your own parameters for them. This is very convenient when collaborating on a large spreadsheet, where each employee has to fill out only those forms that relate to his field of activity.

Subsequent management of protected ranges and sheets

In the end, let’s look at how to call the list of protected sheets and ranges, view it, add something new or change existing rules. This is necessary so that you do not forget what changes you made and can always roll back or modify them when changing the terms of use of the spreadsheet.

  1. A list with the necessary information can be called up through the menu “Data”, by clicking on the item “Protect sheets and ranges” .
  2. A list will appear with descriptions of the existing settings and an Add Sheet or Rangebutton to create new rules. If you click on an existing entry, you will be redirected to the same form as discussed above to make any changes.
  3. With a sheet, everything is much simpler, because just right-click on it and select “Protect Sheet”to view an existing rule or set a new one.

Now you know that protecting ranges and sheets in Google Sheets is done in just a few clicks, and you have almost unlimited possibilities in terms of setting rules. Use these options when collaborating on documents so that no one can accidentally or intentionally enter incorrect data into them or erase something necessary.


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