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Protecting Worksheets and Workbooks in Excel
Part three of a three-part series of blogs

If you've ever been annoyed by somebody else changing parts of your Excel workbooks it's a good idea to learn about protection to prevent them from doing it again!

  1. Protecting Worksheets and Workbooks in Microsoft Excel
  2. Protecting Part of a Worksheet
  3. Protecting the Structure of a Workbook (this blog)

Posted by Andrew Gould on 28 February 2012

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Protecting the Structure of a Workbook

When you protect a worksheet you are only protecting the contents of the sheet rather than the sheet itself.  This means that even though a worksheet has been protected, somebody could still delete it!  If you want to prevent this from happening you need to protect the structure of the workbook.

Delete sheet

Even though this worksheet is protected, somebody can still right-click on the sheet tab and choose to delete it!


Protecting a Workbook

To protect the structure of a workbook:

  1. From the ribbon choose: Review -> Protect Workbook.
Protect workbook

Use this dialog box to protect the structure of a workbook.

  1. Check the Structure checkbox.
  2. Enter an optional password.
  3. Click OK to protect the workbook.
  4. Confirm the password if you have entered one and click OK again.
Confirm password

Type your password again and click OK.

Protected workbook

The workbook is now protected from people deleting worksheets, as well as many other actions.


If you've created multiple windows to view a spreadsheet and you want to maintain the arrangement of them you can also check the Windows option in the above dialog box.

Unprotect a Workbook

You can unprotect a workbook by following almost exactly the same process you used to protect it:

  1. From the ribbon choose: Review -> Protect Workbook.
  2. If you are prompted, enter your password and click OK.
Unprotect workbook

As soon as you click OK your workbook will be unprotected.



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