How to Change Read Only Mode in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the read only mode in Excel is easier than you might think. You just need to follow a few simple steps, and you’ll be able to edit your Excel file in no time. This article will guide you through the process step by step, ensuring you understand each part and can successfully change the read only mode.

Changing Read Only Mode in Excel

In this section, we’ll go through the steps to change read only mode in Excel. By the end, you’ll be able to make your Excel file editable and ready for any modifications you need.

Step 1: Open the Excel File

First, open the Excel file you want to edit.

When you open the file, you might see a message at the top that says "Read Only." This is a clear sign that the file is in read only mode.

Step 2: Click on "File"

Next, click on the "File" tab in the top-left corner of the screen.

This will open a menu with several options, including saving, printing, and others. You’ll find the options you need to change the read only mode here.

Step 3: Select "Info"

Under the "File" menu, select the "Info" option.

This section provides detailed information about your Excel file, including its permissions and properties. From here, you can change the read only settings.

Step 4: Choose "Protect Workbook"

Click on the "Protect Workbook" button under the "Info" section.

This button controls the protection settings of your workbook. When you click it, a dropdown menu will appear with several options.

Step 5: Click "Mark as Final"

From the dropdown menu, select "Mark as Final."

This will remove the read only status from your Excel file. If prompted, confirm your choice to finalize the change.

Step 6: Save the File

Finally, save the file to apply the changes.

By saving the file, you’ll ensure that the read only mode is permanently turned off.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your Excel file will be in editable mode. You can now modify, save, and share it without any restrictions.

Tips for Changing Read Only Mode in Excel

Here are some additional tips to help you navigate and understand the process better:

  • Always check for any warnings or messages when opening an Excel file. They often provide valuable information.
  • If you can’t find the "Protect Workbook" option, it might be hidden under the "Review" tab.
  • Remember to save your file after making any changes to ensure they are applied.
  • If the file is still read only, it might be protected by a password. You’ll need the password to make changes.
  • Consider contacting the file’s owner if you’re unable to turn off read only mode. They might have set restrictions for a reason.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my Excel file is in read only mode?

You can tell if your Excel file is in read only mode if you see a "Read Only" indicator at the top of the file when you open it.

Can I change read only mode without the file’s password?

No, if the file is password-protected, you’ll need the password to change the read only mode.

What should I do if "Mark as Final" is grayed out?

If "Mark as Final" is grayed out, the file might have additional permissions or restrictions. Check under the "Review" tab for other protection options.

Why can’t I find the "Protect Workbook" button?

The "Protect Workbook" button might be located in different tabs depending on your version of Excel. Look under "Review" if you can’t find it in "Info."

Can read only mode affect other users I share the file with?

Yes, if you share a file that is in read only mode, other users will also have restricted access and won’t be able to edit it.


  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Click on "File."
  3. Select "Info."
  4. Choose "Protect Workbook."
  5. Click "Mark as Final."
  6. Save the file.


Changing the read only mode in Excel is a straightforward process that can save you a lot of frustration. By following these simple steps, you can easily make your files editable. Whether you’re working on a school project, a business report, or just organizing personal data, knowing how to manage read only settings is invaluable.

Remember, understanding these basic Excel features can greatly enhance your productivity. Don’t hesitate to explore other tools and settings within Excel, as they can provide additional functionalities that might come in handy.

Feel free to share this guide with friends or colleagues who might benefit from it. And always keep learning new tips and tricks to become an Excel pro!

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