How to Hide Tabs from Specific People in Google Sheets

Hide Tabs from Specific People in Google Sheets

Hiding sheet tabs is not new in Google Sheets. It’s available. You can hide tabs from specific people in Google Sheets. But it depends what prompt you to do so. I mean how seriously you take hiding sheets.

When you have multiple sheet tabs, you may want to hide tabs from specific people in Google Sheets. It may be due to the privacy of data contained in some tabs or you don’t want others to get messed with your data in some tabs. Whatever the reason there are solutions and the solution to hide tabs from specific people in Google Sheets vary.

  • If your concern is privacy of data data in Google Sheets, you should not hide sheets. It won’t work for you! There is another workaround for you. That also I explained below.
  • Your intention to hide tabs from Specific People in Google Sheets is simply connected with your concern about tampering data or formula, you can hide the sheets with some basic settings. I will explain you the above both in detail below.

Two Methods to Hide Tabs from Specific People in Google Sheets

I told you there are two different situations in hiding sheets.

Hiding Sheets in Google Sheets to Avoid People Tampering Data

In this case you can hide sheets. The person with whom you shared the file cannot unhide the sheet. So your file is safe. But he can of course access the data by making a copy of the file. If this is acceptable to you see the below steps.

First you should protect the tab you wish to hide from other users.

Hide Tabs from Specific People in Google Sheets

How to Protect a Tab in Google Sheets?

Either right click on the tab name or go to tools menu and click “Protect sheet”.

protected sheet range settings

Select Sheet, Hidden and click on “Set permissions”. Here set the protect sheet editing permissions as below.

change permissions in google sheets

Now right click on the sheet tab and choose “Hide Sheet”. Now you can share this file.

The person who received the file cannot unhide the sheet from View menu Hidden Sheets. But he can know that there is one hidden tab in the file from the View menu.

This way you can ensure that the tab is protected from other users and they cannot get interfere with the data or formula within it. But they can make copy of the file and access the hidden sheet. So data is not private!

Hiding Sheets in Google Sheets Due to Privacy Concern

When you are too concerned about the privacy of your data in some sheets, you should not even think about hiding tabs in Google Sheets at least for now. There is no such option to ensure you to give complete privacy to your hidden tabs. But don’t worry. There is a workaround for it.

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them – Albert Einstein

What is that? To hide tabs from specific people in Google Sheets with complete protection, do as follows.

First change the sharing settings of your file to “Off – Specific people” That settings you can do from with in the file by clicking the “Share” button.

Remember! Never ever share this file. This file is only for our working. Now what we should do?

Related: How to Hide Formulas in Google Sheets Similar to Excel

If you are not familiar with changing sharing settings to specific people in Google Sheets, go to the above link and jump to the section titled To know about How to Make a Google Sheet File Private?

Hope you’ve completed the above settings. Now to the second stage.

Create a new file with a valid file name in Google Sheets. In this file you can import the content from your above private file. How?

You can import content from your private file as follows using the “importrange()” function. It’s so simple to apply. See the example below. I’m skipping the syntax as it might confuse you.


In the above, URL should be the URL of your private file and the last part of the function “SHEET1!E2:G4” is your sheet name and range to import. If you have two tabs in your private file to share, apply this function in two sheets accordingly.

Note: Here is a complete guide to Google Sheets IMPORTRAGE function.

Now protect the cell where you applied the above function. To protect the cell, you can refer the details under the title above How to protect the sheet in Google Sheets?

You have finished the steps. Now you are set to share this file with the people that you wish to share, that with your required sharing settings.

You are not going to supposed to do any changes in this file any more. You only update your private file. The data you updated will immediately incorporated in your this importrange function applied shared file.

So the people with whom you shared the file can access the updated data always. You are secure with your private data which may contain data that should keep away from the prying eyes. Any doubts about the above procedure ask me in comments.


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