VBA code to Protect and Unprotect Workbooks

VBA Code Snippets

VBA Code Snippets

In a previous VBA Code Snippet we covered protecting and unprotecting worksheets.  In this post we will consider protecting and unprotecting workbooks.  The two topics are closely related, so if this post does not provide the information you need, then read that post too.

Before getting started, there is an important change in Excel 2013 to be considered.


The difference between Single & Multiple Document Interface

In Excel 2010 and prior Excel had a Multiple Document Interface (MDI), which means multiple workbooks opened within the same Excel window.  Excel 2013 introduced the Single Document Interface (SDI), where each document has it’s own window with it’s own Ribbon.

When protecting workbooks the Windows option is disabled within Excel 2013 and above.

Protect Workbook - Windows Disabled

The purpose of the Windows setting was to fix the size of the spreadsheet within the instance of Excel.  However, now that each spreadsheet behaves as if a separate instance, fixing the size of the window now serves no purpose.

The code below will work for both MDI and SDI, however protecting the Workbook window will have no use in Excel 2013 and above.


Basic Protecting and Unprotecting

'Protect a workbook

'Unprotect a workbook


Checking if a workbook is protected

'Show message box if the Structure is Protected
If ThisWorkbook.ProtectStructure = True Then MsgBox "Structure Protected"

'Show message box if the Window is Protected
If ThisWorkbook.ProtectWindows = True Then MsgBox "Windows Protected"

'Show message box if both the Structure or Window are Protected
If ThisWorkbook.ProtectStructure = True Or ThisWorkbook.ProtectWindows = True Then
    MsgBox "Windows and Structure Protected"
End If


Protecting and unprotecting with a password

'Protect with a password
ThisWorkbook.Protect Password:="myPassword"

'Unprotect with a password
ThisWorkbook.Unprotect Password:="myPassword"

If an incorrect password is provided the following error message will show.

Protect Workbook - Incorred Password

The code below will catch the error and provide a custom message.

'Catch the error caused by an incorrect password
On Error Resume Next
ThisWorkbook.Unprotect Password:="incorrectPassword"

If Err.Number <> 0 Then
    MsgBox "The Password provided is incorrect"
    Exit Sub
End If

On Error GoTo 0


Protect the Structure or the Windows

Protecting the structure prevents users from creating, moving, deleting, hiding and unhiding worksheets. Protecting windows is described above.

'Protecting the Structure or the Windows
ThisWorkbook.Protect Password:="myPassword", Structure:=True, Windows:=True


Other related VBA code snippets

The following VBA Code Snippets maybe useful for applying this post in a wider context.


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