Finding protected sheets in Excel

When working with MS Excel and using some of the tools or an add in, you may come across situations where your tool won’t run because of protected sheets. If you have lots of sheets it can be quite tedious to try and find the protected sheets manually. If sheets are hidden you may not even know that there is a protected sheet. So how do we go about finding protected sheets in Excel.

YouTube Finding the protected sheets in Excel

The message you get about Protected Sheets

If we do something simple like Inspect a spreadsheet document (click on FILE, then INSPECT WORKBOOK then INSPECT DOCUMENT) it won’t run.

finding protected sheets in excel

You will get a message that says (as shown below)

This workbook cannot be inspected because it has one or more protected worksheets.


You may already have seen where to find all the Protected Sheets in the images above. In that same screen (when you click on File) you will see that in the latest versions of Excel it will identify all the sheets that are protected. As shown below you can then easily click on the unprotect link and unprotect the sheets without having to jump between them and go to the Review tab.

Finding protected sheets in Excel

Notice as well the last 2. In the spreadsheet example these 2 sheets are actually hidden. So you wouldn’t see them if you scroll through the sheets but on this screen it shows ALL protected sheets, even if they are hidden.

You can learn more about protecting MS Excel spreadsheets on the Online Advanced MS Excel course.

Different levels of Protecting of Excel spreadsheets

Stop Excel users from inserting or deleting rows

Trying to Repair Corrupt Excel Files

Online Excel courses available to you