I have a Google sheet that I need to allow anonymous users to access.

I have locked down all cells bar 3 that I want people to be able to edit.

Unfortunately, people can still right click and create new rows above / below.

This is more of an inconvenience as I can easily remove additional rows that people keep adding for no reason but I’d really like to disable this functionality whilst still allowing them to edit the 3 cells I have set up.

Is this possible? And if yes, how?


2 Answers 2


Protect the sheet then specify the three editable cells as exceptions.

  1. Open the sheet menu
  2. Open the Protect sheet sidebar

  3. Check the Except certain cells checkbox

  4. Set the cell or range reference
  5. If you need to add more cells/ranges click on Add another range button
  6. Once you finish adding exception cells / ranges click on Set permissions

  • Rubén's answer is perfect to allow semi-trusted users to edit areas of a sheet while preventing editing of things like headers and preventing them from adding or removing columns while still allowing the addition of rows. Thanks, Rubén from 4 years ago!
    – John T.
    Commented Jun 27 at 22:15

Anyone who has access to edit your sheet has unlimited power over your spreadsheet no matter what restrictions you place. You literally have to trust everyone 100% and if you are sharing it anonymously than you have to assume your entire workbook will be irreversibly destroyed any moment.

A workaround to this is to always have a private sheet only you have access to which periodically grabs the public sheet with safety checks and vice versa, or to simply make backups.

That being said, you can click next to sheet name and click "protect sheet" check off "except certain cells" and select all the cells you want them to be able to edit (you can literally select every single cell) which will prevent them from adding new columns or rows.

In your example it seems you want them to only be able to edit 3 cells, so you can just specify an exception to those three cells with the "protect sheet" function.

  • 1
    Do you have references to support the first statement? Commented May 13, 2020 at 0:34
  • @Rubén Mostly I am alluding to how google strangely combines editing the sheet permissions with editing the scripts.
    – CodeCamper
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 23:32
  • @CodeCamper, what scripts?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jun 11, 2023 at 0:06

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