Cybersecurity has advanced so much, yet so has the resourcefulness of hackers. It makes you question whether your documents stored online are safe. Even if you save them in Google Drive, encrypting all your documents with more sensitive data is always a good idea.
When using Google Sheets, you may find yourself in a situation where you are dealing with sensitive or confidential information that you wish to keep private from users outside your team. Unfortunately, there’s no way to natively password protect Google Sheets, but you can use the Google Apps Script for Google Sheets password protect and keep your documents secure.
In this article, I will demonstrate how to configure the Google Apps script to secure data on your Google Sheet by creating a password, detail a step-by-step guide on how to password protect a Google Sheet, and show you how to change the password. I will also shed light on additional ways you can keep your data stored in Google Sheets secure. Read on to learn more.
How to Protect Google Sheet With Password – A Step-By-Step Guide
Step 1: Go to this password protected Google Sheet link and make a copy by navigating to File > Make a copy.
Step 2: Go to the Extensions menu, and click on Apps script.
Step 3: You can see the script used to run the protection file.
Step 4: Head back to the Google Sheet.
Step 5: Go to the “Protect file” menu and click on initialize
After clicking initialize, a prompt will show up requesting authorization.
Step 6: Authorize the prompt
After you’ve authorized the prompt, click on encrypt from the menu again, and set a password.
And done! You have completed the Google spreadsheet password protect process and successfully encrypted your file with a password.
You have a few options for using this file. You can put all your data into the sheet you initially copied from our file or lift the Apps Script and use it in a new file you create yourself. But, if you already have existing data you want to protect, the easiest way to do it is to cut and paste it into the password protected file and then delete the older spreadsheet.
Now that we have gone through how you can encrypt your Google Sheet. Let’s move on to the decryption part, which is necessary if you want to read the information or delegate a task requiring the password you created.
It is a simple process, all you will need to do is to go to the “Protect file” menu and select “Decrypt file,” where Sheets will ask the user to enter the password. Once entered, you or the people you shared the password with can now read the cell contents and edit as they wish.
Make sure you don’t edit or make changes to the encrypted document. If you do so, the decryption process won’t retrieve the original content. Remember that the attached script is your local copy and runs entirely within your Google account. Nobody else has access to anything, including the password you set.
How to Change a Password
If you have shared your created passwords with colleagues or team members who no longer work on the same project or you have highly confidential data that you no longer want them to have access to, there is a way you can change the created password.
Users can easily change the password of the encrypted file in the same way that it was created, firstly they have to navigate to the Protect file tab and select Change password.
Then, enter the old password and try to be as unique as possible with the new one. It’s a good idea to update your password on any online platform that stores sensitive data once in a while.
Making a Strong Password
In this day and age of digital attacks and the need for cybersecurity, here are a few things to keep in mind when creating a password, whether you are a single user or an administrator in charge of a team:
- You should always ensure all the passwords you create are entirely different from the previous ones.
- Make sure all your passwords are longer but memorable.
- All users must avoid using personal information or common words.
Accessing Google Sheets on a Phone
For travelers or anyone who may not be on their laptops at all times, accessing a protected Google Sheet through a phone is a handy option. Accessing a protected Google Sheet on a phone is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is open the sheet, select the “encrypt/decrypt” URL, found on the first row of your sheet, and then just enter your password. You’re all set!
Protection on your Google Sheets file through password may be the safest method but certainly isn’t the only method. There are different ways to secure Google Sheets without putting in a password. Although they may not be as secure as a password, they will still give you some control over what sort of modifications can be made to your sheets.
These methods include a soft warning for editing cells, locking selected cell ranges, and hiding a page. Here’s how they work:
Soft Warning for Editing Cells
Having a soft warning for editing cells is an excellent feature if there’s something in your Google Sheets that you don’t want to edit. This feature allows you to display a warning as a reminder every time you try to edit a specific cell.
To add this feature, simply select Tools, go to Protect the sheet, select Set permissions, and then simply select Show a warning when editing this range.
Locking a Cell Range
Another to protect your spreadsheet is locking a specific cell range. The process of locking a cell range is as follows:
Step 1: From the sheet’s ribbon, click on Data and select Protected sheets and ranges.
Step 2: Go to Add a sheet or range, and fill the Enter a description section.
Once you navigate a box with a default data range, you will also see the small box to the right of that range. This is where you will have to type in the cell range you want to protect.
Step 3: Use the formula. For example, I want to protect cells A1 to B29 in the first sheet. I’ll insert Sheet!A1:B29.
And now your cell range is protected! We discuss locking cells/cell ranges in one of our other articles.
Hiding a Page
Although not recommended, another way to protect the sheet is hiding a page. To do this, simply right-click on the sheet you want to hide and click on Hide. If you then want to share the sheet with another person, restrict their activity to only read and comment. This way, your sheet remains hidden and your data protected. If they have edit access, they can unhide the sheet.
Wrapping Up the Password Protect Google Sheets Guide
Google currently provides many tools to help businesses collaborate online as a team; however, this also means that the amount of sensitive or confidential data stored in the cloud is increasing exponentially.
So, Can you password protect a Google Sheet? In this article, I’ve tried to tackle this question as in depth as possible and demonstrated how to password protect Google Sheets, along with other ways to help keep your data protected. I hope this article gave you all the information you needed to secure your documents.
Note: This article’s main focus was on Google Sheet password protection. If you are more interested in knowing how to securely share your documents. Check out our articles on permissions in Google Sheets and single sheet sharing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Password Protect a Google Sheet?
Short answer, yes. But the thing to remember is that Google Sheets doesn’t have a built-in feature to do that. You’ll have to utilize the method demonstrated in this article actually to add a password to your Google Sheets file. So yes, it is technically possible to add a password to a Google Sheet. Apart from passwords, there are also other ways you can keep your Google Sheets secure. In this article, I’ve elaborated on different methods of protection and how to password protect a Google Sheet.
How Do I Password Protect a Google Sheets Opening?
If you want to add a password to your Google Sheets file, so that whenever someone tries to access it they’ll have to enter a password: You will need to password protect your Google Sheets file using the Google Apps Script. Or, you can use a password-protected template and make a copy of it.
From there,it is a pretty simple process. You’ll have to select initialize from the protect file menu and authorize the prompt that shows up. Once done, click on the Protect file tab and then Encrypt file. After that, Create a password that you will share with your selected users. Now nobody can access and read it unless they have the password you created.
How Do I Make a Google Sheet Private?
You can make your Google Sheets private by adding a password. In this article, I’ve detailed various ways you can make your Google Sheets private and secure, including how to lock a Google Sheet with a password.