When you try to make changes to an Excel file but are met with an error stating that the file is marked as read-only, there are a few ways you can get around the restriction. Setting a file as read-only helps when you're sending files to colleagues or friends and want to prevent changes to the content, but in some cases, it's a hindrance. The process you use to address a Microsoft Excel read-only problem depends on how the file was made read-only, but in any case, it is straightforward.
Excel File Marked as Final
In some cases, an Excel file that opens as read-only has been marked as final by the user. This measure is more a suggestion than a requirement, and you can get around it easily. Along the top of the sheet is a yellow bar that says "Marked as Final," with a short explanatory message and a button that says "Edit Anyway." Click "Edit Anyway" to change the Excel file from read-only, and you can edit it as you ordinarily would.
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Remove Read-Only Restriction Using Windows Explorer
You can also remove the read-only status of a file directly through Windows Explorer. Right-click on the file and choose "Properties" from the menu that appears. Under the "General" tab, toward the bottom, look for a small check box beside "Read-only." This box is checked for any spreadsheets marked as read-only, and you can uncheck it to remove the protection.
Remove Read-Only Recommendation
When you save a file in Excel using the "Save As" option, there is an option for setting a read-only recommendation for the file. Access the option using the "Tools" drop-down menu beside the "Save" button. If you try to edit a file that has this recommendation, a dialogue box opens when you try to access the file in Excel. It asks if you want to open the file as read-only. Choose "No," and you can access the file.
To remove read-only from Excel files with a read-only recommendation, open the "Save As" dialogue box and click the "Tools" drop-down menu. Click "General Option" to open a smaller dialogue box that shows "Read-only recommended" as checked, with the possibility of a password. Uncheck the "Read-only recommended" box and delete the password to remove the protection. Click "OK" to confirm.
Restricted by Password
Although password restriction is different from being marked as read-only, you won't be able to make edits to your Excel sheet if it's password protected. When you try to open the file, Excel prompts you to enter the password. You can only gain access if you know the password. Enter it to edit the document. You can remove the password from the original file by going to "Prepare" and "Encrypt Document" from the main menu and then deleting the password in the "Encrypt Document" pop-up that appears.
Read-Only in Excel for Mac
Removing read-only status from a file in Excel for Mac is easy. Go to the "File" menu and click on "Get Info." Under "General," you'll see a check box that says "Locked." If the box is checked, the workbook is set as read-only. Clear the check box to remove the read-only status.