Excel Tutorial: How To Copy Protected Excel Sheet


Protected excel sheets are a great way to secure important information in your spreadsheets from unauthorized access or accidental changes. However, there may be instances where you need to copy information from a protected sheet for various reasons such as data analysis, reporting, or sharing with colleagues. In this tutorial, we will explore the importance of being able to copy information from protected sheets and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

Key Takeaways

  • Protected excel sheets are important for securing sensitive information
  • Being able to copy information from protected sheets is crucial for data analysis and sharing
  • Methods for copying protected sheets include using VBA code, third-party software, and Google Sheets as a workaround
  • Respecting data privacy and using these methods responsibly is essential
  • It's important to choose reputable software and be cautious when using third-party tools

Understanding protected excel sheets

When working with excel sheets, it is common to come across protected sheets. These are sheets that have been secured to prevent unauthorized users from making changes to the content.

A. Definition of protected excel sheets

A protected excel sheet is a document that has been locked to prevent users from editing, deleting, or adding new information. This protection is often implemented through a password.

B. Reasons for protecting excel sheets

There are several reasons why someone might choose to protect an excel sheet. This could be to prevent accidental changes to important data, to maintain the integrity of calculations, or to control access to sensitive information.

C. Limitations of copying information from protected excel sheets

While protecting an excel sheet can prevent unauthorized changes, it can also make it difficult to copy information from the sheet. This can be problematic when you need to transfer data to another document or send it to a colleague.

Methods for copying protected excel sheets

There are a few methods you can use to copy a protected excel sheet, depending on your specific needs and technical expertise. Here are three common methods:

A. Using VBA code
  • Unlock the protected sheet

    If you are familiar with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code, you can use it to unlock the protected sheet. This involves writing a custom macro to remove the protection, allowing you to make changes and copy the contents of the sheet.

  • Copy the contents

    Once the sheet is unlocked, you can use VBA code to copy the contents to another sheet or workbook. This allows you to preserve the original protected sheet while working with a copy that can be manipulated freely.

B. Using third-party software
  • Find a reputable tool

    There are third-party software tools available that claim to be able to copy protected excel sheets. It's important to research and find a reputable tool that is known to be effective and safe to use.

  • Follow the instructions

    Once you have selected a tool, follow the instructions provided by the software to copy the protected sheet. This may involve installing the software, selecting the protected sheet, and initiating the copy process.

C. Using Google Sheets as a workaround
  • Upload the Excel file to Google Sheets

    One workaround for copying a protected excel sheet is to upload the file to Google Sheets. Google Sheets does not recognize the protection applied to the original Excel file, allowing you to make a copy of the protected sheet.

  • Copy the contents in Google Sheets

    Once the file is in Google Sheets, you can freely copy the contents of the protected sheet to another location within the Google Sheets interface. This provides a workaround for creating a copy of the protected sheet without needing to unlock it.

Step-by-step guide for using VBA code

Unlocking a protected Excel sheet using VBA code can be a useful skill for many professionals. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

A. Opening the Developer tab in Excel

To get started, you’ll need to open the Developer tab in Excel. Here’s how you can do this:

1. Go to the File tab

Click on the “File” tab at the top of the Excel window to access the File menu.

2. Select Options

From the File menu, select “Options” at the bottom of the menu list.

3. Customize Ribbon

In the Excel Options window, click on “Customize Ribbon” in the left-hand pane.

4. Check the Developer tab

In the right-hand pane, you’ll see a list of main tabs and sub tabs. Check the box next to “Developer” to enable it, then click “OK” to apply the changes.

B. Accessing the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor

Once the Developer tab is visible, you can access the VBA editor by following these steps:

1. Click on the Developer tab

Go to the Developer tab at the top of the Excel window.

2. Select Visual Basic

Click on “Visual Basic” in the Developer tab to open the VBA editor.

C. Running the VBA code to unlock the protected sheet

Once you’re in the VBA editor, you can use the following VBA code to unlock the protected sheet:

1. Paste the VBA code

Copy and paste the VBA code provided for unlocking the protected sheet into the editor.

2. Run the code

After pasting the code, you can run it by clicking on the “Run” button (a green play button) in the toolbar or by pressing F5 on your keyboard.

D. Copying the data from the unprotected sheet

Finally, you can easily copy the data from the unprotected sheet using the following steps:

1. Select the data

Click and drag to select the data you want to copy from the unprotected sheet.

2. Copy the data

Once the data is selected, right-click and choose “Copy” from the context menu, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + C.

By following these steps, you can use VBA code to unlock a protected Excel sheet and copy the data from the unprotected sheet with ease.

Step-by-step guide for using third-party software

When it comes to copying a protected Excel sheet, using third-party software can be a viable option. Here's a guide on how to use third-party software to bypass the protection and copy the data.

A. Researching and choosing a reputable software
  • Begin by researching reputable third-party software that can bypass Excel sheet protection.
  • Read reviews and check the software's reputation to ensure it is safe and effective.
  • Look for software that offers user-friendly features and has a track record of success in bypassing Excel sheet protection.

B. Downloading and installing the software
  • Once you have chosen a reputable software, download it from the official website or a trusted source.
  • Follow the installation instructions provided by the software and ensure it is properly installed on your computer.
  • Check for any updates or patches to ensure the software is up-to-date.

C. Using the software to bypass the protection and copy the data
  • Open the protected Excel sheet using the third-party software.
  • Follow the software's instructions to bypass the protection and gain access to the data.
  • Once the protection is bypassed, you can proceed to copy the data from the Excel sheet.
  • Ensure that you comply with any legal or ethical considerations when using third-party software to bypass protection on Excel sheets.

Using Google Sheets as a Workaround for Copying a Protected Excel Sheet

When you encounter a protected Excel sheet that you need to copy, Google Sheets can serve as a helpful workaround. Follow these step-by-step instructions to use Google Sheets for this purpose.

A. Uploading the protected excel sheet to Google Drive
  • Step 1: Go to your Google Drive and click on the "New" button.
  • Step 2: Select "File upload" and choose the protected Excel sheet from your computer.
  • Step 3: Once the file is uploaded, right-click on it and select "Open with" and then choose "Google Sheets."

B. Opening the sheet in Google Sheets
  • Step 1: After opening the protected Excel sheet in Google Sheets, you may be prompted to make a copy of the file. If prompted, make a copy to ensure you can edit the sheet.
  • Step 2: If no prompt appears, you can still make a copy by clicking on "File" in the top-left corner, then selecting "Make a copy" from the dropdown menu.

C. Copying the content from the protected sheet to a new, unprotected sheet
  • Step 1: Once the protected sheet is open in Google Sheets, select all the content you want to copy. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells, or by pressing "Ctrl + A" on your keyboard to select all cells.
  • Step 2: After selecting the content, right-click and choose "Copy."
  • Step 3: Create a new, unprotected sheet in Google Sheets by clicking on the "+" icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • Step 4: Once a new sheet is created, right-click on the first cell and select "Paste" to transfer the copied content to the new sheet.


Protecting data is crucial, but there are times when you need to be able to copy information from protected Excel sheets. The methods outlined in this blog post give you the tools to do just that, while also respecting the privacy and security of the data. We encourage you to use these methods responsibly and only when necessary.

By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can ensure that you are able to access the information you need, while still maintaining the integrity of the protected sheet. Remember to always respect data privacy and use these methods in a responsible manner.

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