How to open an Excel file as read-only

You can watch a video tutorial here.

To protect the information in a file, it is possible to save it as a read-only file. This should be done whenever you are circulating a file that has sensitive information. To prevent viewers from intentionally or accidentally changing the data in the file, it is better to make the file read-only. The viewer will be able to change the data in a read-only file, but will not be able to save it to a new file. Changes will need to be saved to a new file. There are 2 ways in which a file can be opened as read-only. 

Option 1 – Make the file read-only 

Step 1 – Open the Info window

  • Go to File > Info

Step 2 – Choose the read-only setting

  • Expand the Protect Workbook menu
  • Click on Always Open Read-Only

Step 3 – Close the file

  • Click Close to close the file
  • Choose Yes when prompted to save the file

Step 4 – Open the file

  • Double-click the file name to open it
  • Click ‘Yes’ for the warning

Step 5 – Check the file name

  • The ‘read-only’ tag is added to the file name

Option 2 – Open as a read-only file

Step 1 – Choose the option to open a file

  • From within the Excel application, go to File > Open

Step 2 – Open the file

  • Navigate to the file and select it
  • Expand the menu adjoining the Open button
  • Select Open Read-Only

Step 3 – Check the file

  • The file is opened as a read-only file