Protect a workbook

To prevent other users from viewing hidden worksheets, adding, moving, deleting, or hiding worksheets, and renaming worksheets, you can protect the structure of your Excel workbook with a password.

Example of Workbook structure
Example of a workbook's structure

Notes: Protecting the workbook is not the same as protecting an Excel file or a worksheet with a password. See below for more information:

  • To lock your file so that other users can't open it, see Protect an Excel file.

  • To protect certain areas of the data in your worksheet from other users, you have to protect your worksheet. For more information, see Protect a worksheet.

  • To know the difference between protecting your Excel file, workbook, or a worksheet, see Protection and security in Excel.

Protect the workbook structure

To protect the structure of your workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Click Review > Changes > Protect Workbook.

    Protect Structure and Windows dialog box

    Note: If you are using Excel 2010 and earlier, you can also select the Windows option if you want to prevent users from moving, resizing, or closing the workbook window, or hide/unhide windows. The Windows option is unavailable in Excel 2013 and later versions.

  2. Enter a password in the Password box.

  3. Click OK, and retype the password to confirm it.

    Note: Write your passwords down and store them someplace safe. If you lose them, Excel cannot recover them for you.

On the Review tab , see the Protect Workbook icon. If it’s highlighted, then the workbook is protected.

Protect Workbook option on the ribbon is highlighted in a protected workbook

The Protect Workbook option in the Info menu also indicates that the workbook's structure is protected. To view this option, click File > Info > Protect Workbook.

Protect Workbook status highlighted in the Info tab

If you click on the bottom of a sheet inside your workbook, you will notice that the options to change the workbook structure, such as Insert, Delete, Rename, Move, Copy, Hide and Unhide sheets are all unavailable.

Options to work with a sheet are unavailable in a locked workbook

Click Review > Changes > Protect Workbook. Clear the password and then click OK.

Help us improve Excel

Do you have suggestions about how we can improve the next version of Excel? If so, please check out the topics at Excel User Voice.

See Also

Protection and security in Excel

Protect an Excel file

Protect a worksheet

Use a shared workbook to collaborate in Excel

Video: Password protect workbooks and worksheets (Excel 2013)

Video: Protect worksheets and workbooks (Excel 2010)

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