How to Make Read Only in Excel

Last Updated: July 12, 2023

- Written by Puneet

Sometimes, users want to make the default mode of the workbook read-only to prevent users from editing anything within the data accidentally or intentionally.

Users usually make the workbook mode ready only when they have too many formulas or calculations within the data, and they do not want to mess up that.

In this tutorial, we will show you multiple ways how to make the default Excel workbook mode ready only and you can choose any of them based on your preference.

Make Workbook Ready Only Using Save As

  1. First, go to the “File” tab and then click on “Save As” to save the workbook in read-only mode.
  2. After that, choose the location to save it and then click on the “Tools” button and then choose “General Options” from the drop-down menu.

  3. Now, set the password within the “Password to modify” field and then select the “Read-only recommended” option and click OK.
  4. Leave the “Password to modify” field blank, if you don’t want to set the password and want only to recommend users to open the file in read-only mode.
  5. Once done, with the password, users will get the message box to enter the password if want to open in edit mode or click on “Read Only” to open in view mode only.

Make Workbook Ready Only Using Info Option

  1. First, go to the “File” tab.
  2. After that click on the “Info” option and then on “Protect Workbook” and then choose the “Always Open Read Only” option.
  3. Now, the default mode of the workbook has changed to read-only and whoever will open that file will get the message asking to “Open the file in Ready Only mode as Author requested or in editable mode while opening the workbook.
  4. Click on “Yes” and it will get opened in read-only mode otherwise click on “No” if want to open it in editable mode.

Make Workbook to Ready Only Mode Using Toggle Read Only

Toggle Read Only is the fastest and quickest way to switch the workbook to read-only mode and editable mode anytime without creating a copy of that workbook.

  1. First, click on the “Arrow” sign within the “Quick Access Toolbar” and choose “More Commands” from the drop-down menu.
  2. After that, select the “Commands Not in the Ribbon” option within the “Choose commands from” field.
  3. Now, scroll down and click on the “Toggle Read Only” option and then click on “Add” to add it to the “Quick Access Toolbar”.
  4. Once done click OK.
  5. At this point, the “Toggle Read Only” button has got added to the “Quick Access Toolbar”.
  6. Now, to enable the read-only mode click on the “Toggle Read Only” button and the workbook mode will get changed into read-only mode.
  7. To enable back the editable mode, click again on the “Toggle Read Only” button.

Note: If you have not saved the workbook and Excel will ask you to save the already-made changes before enabling the read-only mode.


Remove Read Only Mode of the File

To remove the workbook read-only mode and make it editable again, you have to make a new copy of the workbook using “Save As” and while saving the new copy you have to untick the “Read-only recommended” option from the “General Options” dialog box.