Protection problem - excessive (unprovoked) popups


New Member
Aug 6, 2011
[this is excel 2010 64bit on win7]

When I protect some cells, and turn on 'protect sheet', my spreadsheet seems ok for a few minutes.. then I get a totally unsolicited (meaning i have not touched the keyboard or mouse or anything) popup telling me I'm trying to edit a protected cell. Such popups will occur more and more frequently the more I leave the spreadsheet on, until they come continuously, as soon as I close the previous popup.

Interestingly, if this helps anyone, the popup window does NOT look the exact same as when I actually do try to type in a protected cell.. the text is indeed the same "The cell or chart that you are trying to change is protected and therefore read-only. To modify a protected cell... first remove protection....", however the popups which appear appropriately (ie I cause by typing) are in a popup box that is long left-to-right but short top-to-bottom, so all the text only takes 2 rows. The *unsolicited* popups are more squarish, taller but not as wide, so the text takes up 5 rows.

The popups occur whether or not I have selected a locked cell. They still occur even if I disable the ability to select locked cells.

My spreadsheet does have a lot of RTD data coming in (eg bloomberg data), if that matters at all. But that data is coming in constantly (even before popups start to appear), so it doesn't appear to be a problem that the protection complains about an RTD cell updating.

I have no idea right now what is causing this, and can't find any similar problem when searching the web (maybe i'm not using the correct search terms).

I tried as a workaround to use Application.DisplayAlerts = False, but it doesn't prevent the popups.

Has anyone seen this / any suggestions? Thanks

[tried posting this without any results yet at ]

Excel Facts

How to total the visible cells?
From the first blank cell below a filtered data set, press Alt+=. Instead of SUM, you will get SUBTOTAL(9,)
Hi sammey,

It's likely that the RTD feed is provoking the "unprovoked" popups.

Try stopping that feed temporarily just to test if the problem seems to go away without the updates.

Is it possible that the RTD data initially is only changing Unlocked Cells (hence no pop-ups), but then starts to try to populate Locked Cells?

If your logging is sequentially growing a list, this would explain why there are no pop ups until the list grows into a range of Cells that hasn't been Unlocked.
Upvote 0
Hi JS411,
Thanks. You are correct; I disabled the RTD updates, and indeed it does seem to stop the popups. (not surprising since then basically nothing is happening in the spreadsheet).

Is there any workaround, other than leaving RTD cells unprotected? (not ideal)

I am still unsure about what exactly triggers the popups, as many protected RTD cells are being updated at first without complaints (I can see them updating). In fact all my RTD cells are protected (and I am writing no lists or anything).

Any thoughts?
Upvote 0
I'm surprised the data updates Cells that are Locked. (Locked is a better term that Protected as some people misunderstand the relationship between Locking Cells and Protecting the Sheet).

I haven't worked with RTD feeds, so I don't have much advice to offer.
In VBA you can choose whether Protection applies to the VBA code actions or just the User Interface. There might be something similar to that with Queries.

Do you get popups when you UnLock all the RTD Cells?
Upvote 0

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