In this tutorial, you will learn how to unprotect Google Sheets.
Protecting sheets and ranges in Google Sheets is a great way to prevent users from inadvertently making edits to those portions of the spreadsheet, but sometimes you may find that these protections stop users from making necessary changes to the spreadsheet. A spreadsheet with too many protections can become impossible to use, so often it’s necessary to remove some or all protections to continue working
Fortunately, removing protections in Google Sheets is quick and easy. The only potential challenge is that you must be logged into an account which can edit that protected range in order to remove it. If you aren’t sure what accounts have this access, you can always contact the spreadsheet owner and ask them to remove the protection. Spreadsheet owners are able to edit and remove all protected ranges
Adding Editors to a Protected Range
Before jumping directly to removing protection in Google sheets, it’s important to consider if adding editors to that range might be a better option. This gives certain users access to edit the protected range without deleting the protection and can be useful if there are still certain users who should not be able to edit that range.
Here’s how to add a user to a protected range
Open the spreadsheet using an account that can edit the protected range, such as the spreadsheet owner’s account
Open the Data menu and click on Protected Sheets and Ranges
From the Protected Sheets & Ranges sidebar that appears, click on the protected range you want to edit
Click on the Change Permissions button
In the Range Editing Permissions dialog, under Restrict Who Can Edit this Range, choose the Custom option if it is not already selected
A list of spreadsheet editors will appear with checkboxes beside each to grant that user edit permissions to that range. Click the checkbox beside the user you want to add
Click Done to close the dialog when you’ve added all desired editors. The added users will now be able to edit the protected range
Removing Protected Ranges
If adding editors to a protected range is not enough to allow the required edits, or if you find that you’ve granted all users edit access so the protected range no longer provides any protection, you can fully unprotect that range
Open the Protected Sheets and Ranges sidebar following instructions above
Click on the range you want to delete
Beside the name of the range, a trash can icon will appear. Click on it
In the popup that appears, click Remove to proceed with unprotecting the range
The range is now unprotected and anyone who can edit the spreadsheet can edit this range
Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet
In this tutorial, I covered how to unprotect Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.