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Locked and Password Protected Cells in the Excel Templates

Applies to Excel templates: "Georges Budget for Excel", "Georges Excel Checkbook Register", "Georges Excel Checkbook for Mac"

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Why are some cells locked in the Excel Templates?

The checkbook software (Georges Excel Checkbook Register and Georges Excel Checkbook for Mac) and personal finance software (Georges Budget for Excel) do not require a password to open or use it, however certain cells are password protected because they contain formulas in them that are not intended to be changed by the user. This protects the integrity of the data & copyright info. The cells that are not password protected are where you enter your data such as the cells in the checkbook registers where you enter the Date, Description, Amount, etc. for your checkbook transactions.

In the Excel checkbook register or budget spreadsheet, you can also click the (green/grey/blue/orange) buttons within the worksheets to navigate between sheets and in certain cases to enter additional data.

Due to the password locking of certain cells, ranges of cells, worksheets, and workbooks many Excel commands and features are dimmed out and can not be used.

If you try to enter data in a locked cell, paste data into a locked cell, or click a locked cell, the following Excel message will be displayed in a popup window.
"The cell or chart you are trying to change is protected and therefore read only. To modify a protected cell or chart, first remove the protection using the Unprotect Sheet command (Review tab, Changes group). You may be prompted for a password."


Excel locked unlocked worksheet cells


That message is not an error in the Excel templates, it is just notify you that a cell, range of cells, or entire worksheet have been locked and in the case of the Excel templates on, also password protected. The worksheet cells that are unlocked are where you will enter your data.

Due to protecting the workbook structure, certain Excel features have been locked such as when you try to rename a worksheet by double clicking a worksheet tab, you will be given the Excel message "Workbook is protected and cannot be changed."

The VBA (visual basic for applications) macro portion of the Excel templates have been password protected to prevent any access or changes to the VBA project, VBA macros and VBA code.

When using the budget spreadsheet and Excel checkbook register, do not attempt to break into the password protected areas or to change, alter, or use in another application any formula, macro, module, custom form, Visual Basic Project or general layout/structure of the Software.
If a sheet has been password protected, do not unprotect any password protected sheets in the Software.
If the workbook feature is password protected, do not unprotect the workbook feature of the Software.
Do not use the Visual Basic Project portion of the Software.

Password protected cells is different from enabling macros. Enabling macros is required because of the macros in the Excel templates such as the budget spreadsheet template and Excel checkbook register template which have Excel VBA macros.


Types of Excel Protection

1. Protect an Excel file

  • You can protect an Excel file by requiring a password to be entered when opening the Excel file.
  • None of the Excel templates that are available on require a password to open the Excel file. However, if you want, you have the option of adding your own password that is required to open the Excel file.
  • Sometimes you may want to use a password to protect a file because you are backing up your Excel files on an online storage service such as OneDrive, DropBox or Google Drive. While these online cloud services have a password to sign on, adding a password at the file level may provide an extra level of protection from hackers and other breaches.
  • Be aware that if you do add a password to protect your Excel file, if you forget the password, you will not be able to open the Excel file without the password. Microsoft does not recover lost Excel passwords. Although there may be some password recovery software options available online, there is no guarantee that they will work or cause other file issues.
  • Protecting an Excel file with a password also encrypts the Excel file.

2. Protect Excel Workbook Structure and Windows

  • You can protect the workbook structure and windows. For example if you protect the workbook structure, you can rename the worksheets or move the worksheets.
  • The password is optional when protecting the Excel workbook structure or windows but without adding a password, anyone can remove the protection.

3. Protect Excel Worksheets and Cells

  • You can protect a cell, range of cells, or entire worksheet. For example, you may want to protect cells that have formulas in them and leave the cells where users enter data unlocked.
  • When you protect a cell, range of cells, or worksheet, you are locking that cell, range of cells or worksheets and preventing user from making changes to the locked cells contents, such as the Excel formula in the cell and the cells formatting.
  • When protecting a cells, you can also allow certain changes such as allowing users to change only the cells formatting or allowing sorting or filtering on a protected sheet.

4. Protect Excel Macros VBA Project Code

  • You can also protect an Excel VBA (visual basic for applications) project including the vba modules, the vba forms, and Microsoft Excel Objects).
  • You can set a password to protect your entire VBA project so that only those who have the password will have access to vba code in the Excel file. This will also prevent users of the Excel file that has a protected vba project from adding new macros to the Excel file or changing the code in the existing modules.


If you decide to add a password that is required to open the Excel checkbook spreadsheet or Excel Budget Spreadsheet, you have to decide how strong of a password to use, and risks related to forgetting your passwords as Microsoft does not recover lost Excel passwords. Also, does not recover any lost passwords that you may have added to the Excel templates.


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