How to Lock a Cell in Excel

Learning how to a lock a cell in excel will make copying formulas much easier.  If you don’t lock down or fix your cell reference, the referenced cell will move by exactly the same number of columns and rows from your original cell.

To lock a cell in excel, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1

Type a simple formula.

Lock a cell in Excel


Step 2

To lock a reference to a cell, simply add dollar signs ($) next to the cell reference. Adding one before the letter will lock the column. Adding one before the number will lock the row.

Lock a cell in Excel

Step 3

If a cell is locked, copying or dragging the formula will not move the referenced cell.

Lock a cell in Excel

* You can use the F4 key to expedite this process. Simply click a cell you want locked in the formula bar and press F4:

Once to lock the entire cell,

Twice to lock only the row, or

Three times to lock only the column


Want to practice on some excel spreadsheets? Check out our Free Excel Templates.

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