Apr 3, 2016

How to Protect Information in a Google Sheet

Sometimes in Google Sheets, it is necessary to protect a range of cells, or even an entire sheet so that other users cannot edit them.  Likewise, you may have multiple users in the same sheet, and you may have the need to set permissions for cells that allow only certain users to edit.  An example may be a Sheet you are using for Collaboration, in which you want each student to have access to only one row.  Another example is when a Sheet is being used as a fillable form rather than using a Google Form, and you wish to protect headers, questions, and other data from end users, while still allowing them to enter information in empty cells.

To protect cells in a sheet:


  1. Highlight the Range of cells you wish protect
  2. Click on the Data Menu
  3. Select Protected Sheets and Ranges
  4. A menu will appear at the right of your sheet.
  5. Click Set Permissions
  6. Change "Only You" to Custom and enter the account of the user you'd like to restrict to these cells.


To protect an entire sheet:
  1. Click on the dropdown menu in the Tab of the Sheet you want to protect.
  2. Choose Protect Sheet
  3. A menu will appear at the right of your sheet.
  4. Click Set Permissions
  5. Change "Only You" to Custom and enter the account of the user you'd like to restrict to this sheet.

Both of these functions come in very handy.  There have been several times when I have used a Google Sheet as a group activity in which I wanted students to answer questions that we could all view and discuss as they were being answered.  But because some students like to "mess" with other's cells, it was necessary to protect that information and allow only the user of that row or cell access.  

Hope this helps!