Password Protecting/Unprotecting A List of Excel Sheet Names
What This VBA Code Does
Today, a colleague of mine described to me a situation (aka annoyance) he was trying to automate. He had an Excel file with a bunch of tabs created, however, only a handful of tabs required password protection upon the file distribution. The pain point was all the time spent unprotecting and re-protecting the sheets each time he was working on the file. Knowing I had a little bit of experience working with Excel, he asked if there was a way to resolve this very manual task.
Below is the solution I whipped up which let him list out the specific sheet names that required the password protection and allowed him to toggle on/off the password protection. I even threw in some nifty error messages if sheets were not found, had name changes, or were protected with a different password. Enjoy!
Sub SheetProtection_Toggle() 'PURPOSE: Add/Remove password protection to a list of tab names 'SOURCE: www.TheSpreadsheetGuru.com/the-code-vault Dim SheetArray As Variant Dim sht As Worksheet Dim Password As String Dim NotFoundList As String Dim WrongPasswordList As String Dim ProtectionStateDetermined As Boolean Dim UnprotectSheet As Boolean Dim x As Long 'INPUTS SheetArray = Array("Sheet1", "Sheet2", "Sheet4") Password = "Password123" 'Loop through each sheet name For x = LBound(SheetArray) To UBound(SheetArray) 'Store Sheet Object to Variable On Error Resume Next Set sht = Nothing Set sht = ActiveWorkbook.Sheets(SheetArray(x)) On Error GoTo 0 'Was Sheet found in Activeworkbook? If Not sht Is Nothing Then 'Determine if we need to protect or unprotect these sheets (based off of first instance) If ProtectionStateDetermined = False And (sht.ProtectContents Or sht.ProtectDrawingObjects Or sht.ProtectScenarios) Then UnprotectSheet = True ProtectionStateDetermined = True 'Lock/Unlock worksheet If UnprotectSheet = True Then On Error Resume Next sht.Unprotect Password If sht.ProtectContents = True Then WrongPasswordList = WrongPasswordList & "• " & SheetArray(x) & Chr(10) On Error GoTo 0 Else sht.Protect Password End If Else 'Store a list of sheets not found in the ActiveWorkbook NotFoundList = NotFoundList & "• " & SheetArray(x) & Chr(10) End If Next x 'Report what was done to the worksheets If UnprotectSheet = True Then MsgBox "Sheets Unprotected!" Else MsgBox "Sheets Protected!" End If 'Report any sheet names that were not found (if applicable) If NotFoundList <> "" Then MsgBox "The following Worksheets were not found in your Excel file:" & Chr(10) & Chr(10) & Trim(NotFoundList) End If 'Report any sheets that cound not be unprotected (if applicable) If WrongPasswordList <> "" Then MsgBox "The following Worksheets were unable to be unprotected:" & Chr(10) & Chr(10) & Trim(WrongPasswordList) End If End Sub
For convenience, try adding this VBA macro to your QAT (Quick Access Toolbar). Simply click the little down arrow at the very end of the toolbar (shown below just to the right of the red box) and select More Commands. Then do the following:
- Change the “Choose Commands from” drop-down to Macros
- Find the SheetProtection_Toggle macro and select it
- Click the Add>> button
- With the button selected in the Quick Access Toolbar list (right-hand side), you can change the button name and icon by clicking the Modify button
- Click the OK button to save your changes
Using VBA Code Found On The Internet
Now that you’ve found some VBA code that could potentially solve your Excel automation problem, what do you do with it? If you don’t necessarily want to learn how to code VBA and are just looking for the fastest way to implement this code into your spreadsheet, I wrote an article (with video) that explains how to get the VBA code you’ve found running on your spreadsheet.
Getting Started Automating Excel
Are you new to VBA and not sure where to begin? Check out my quickstart guide to learning VBA. This article won’t overwhelm you with fancy coding jargon, as it provides you with a simplistic and straightforward approach to the basic things I wish I knew when trying to teach myself how to automate tasks in Excel with VBA Macros.
Also, if you haven’t checked out Excel’s latest automation feature called Power Query, I have put together a beginner’s guide for automating with Excel’s Power Query feature as well! This little-known built-in Excel feature allows you to merge and clean data automatically with little to no coding!
How Do I Modify This To Fit My Specific Needs?
Chances are this post did not give you the exact answer you were looking for. We all have different situations and it’s impossible to account for every particular need one might have. That’s why I want to share with you: My Guide to Getting the Solution to your Problems FAST! In this article, I explain the best strategies I have come up with over the years to get quick answers to complex problems in Excel, PowerPoint, VBA, you name it!
I highly recommend that you check this guide out before asking me or anyone else in the comments section to solve your specific problem. I can guarantee that 9 times out of 10, one of my strategies will get you the answer(s) you are needing faster than it will take me to get back to you with a possible solution. I try my best to help everyone out, but sometimes I don’t have time to fit everyone’s questions in (there never seem to be quite enough hours in the day!).
I wish you the best of luck and I hope this tutorial gets you heading in the right direction!
After 10+ years of creating macros and developing add-ins, I've compiled all the hacks I wish I had known years ago!
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Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.