The common ways of locking or hiding tabs in a workbook can be easy to reverse for many users. Using VBA code to do this is considered a better way to do this, if you are familiar with macros. In this article, we’re going to show you how to ‘un-protect’ protected worksheets and how to protect un-protected worksheets using VBA.

Worksheets are objects in the worksheet collection of a workbook, and they have Protect and Unprotect methods. These methods determine the protected status of a worksheet as the name suggests. Both methods can also accept optional arguments. The first argument is the password. By setting a string into the parameter argument, you can lock your worksheets with a password. Below is a breakdown.

Code sample

You can use this in two ways:

  • Module
  • Immediate Window

In the Module method, you need to add the module into the workbook or the add-in file. Copy and paste the code into the module to run it. The main advantage of the module method is that it allows saving the code in the file, so that it can be used again later. Furthermore, the subroutines in modules can be used by icons in the menu ribbons or keyboard shortcuts. Remember to save your file in either XLSM or XLAM format to save your VBA code.

The Immediate Window method, on the other hand, is essentially a quick and dirty method where you can simply copy and paste the code into the Immediate Window, and press the Enter key to run it. Unfortunately, any code you use in the Immediate Window will not be saved. Also note that icons and keyboard shortcuts will not be available.

Protect a worksheet

Module Version:

Sub ProtectActiveWorksheet()

    ActiveSheet.Protect "pass"

End Sub

Immediate Window version:

ActiveSheet.Protect "pass"

Unprotect a worksheet

Module Version:

Sub UnprotectActiveWorksheet()

    ActiveSheet.Unprotect "pass"

End Sub

Immediate Window version:

ActiveSheet.Unprotect “pass”

Protect all worksheets

Module Version:

Sub ProtectAllWorksheets()

    Dim sh As Worksheet

    For Each sh In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets

        sh.Protect "pass"

    Next sh

End Sub

Immediate Window version:

For Each sh In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets: sh.Protect "pass": Next sh

Unprotect all worksheets

Module Version:

Sub ProtectAllWorksheets()

    Dim sh As Worksheet

    For Each sh In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets

        sh.Unprotect "pass"

    Next sh

End Sub

Immediate Window version:

For Each sh In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets: sh.Unprotect "pass": Next sh