Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Protecting a Graphic.

Protecting a Graphic

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 13, 2024)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Larry asked if there was a way to protect a graphic inserted in a worksheet or the header or footer of a worksheet so that it cannot be removed. The answer (as with many things in Excel) is yes and no.

If you place a graphic in a worksheet, then when you protect the worksheet the graphic is also protected. In fact, once the worksheet is protected, you cannot even select any graphics in the worksheet, which is a prerequisite to them being deleted.

On the flip side of the coin, there is no way to protect graphics placed in headers or footers. Even if you protect the worksheet, the header and footer can still be changed, and thus the graphic can be selected and deleted.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7994) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Protecting a Graphic.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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