You Can't Make This Change Because the Selection Is Locked [Solved]

Encountering errors like 'you can't make this change because the selection is locked' in Word may be frustrating, especially when you are trying to beat the deadline. This post will provide feasible solutions to save your files. Read on!

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It is relatively common for office workers to encounter errors like you can't make this change because the selection is locked when trying to edit Word documents, and it may arouse a lot of trouble if you are in urgent. 

When I edit a Word document, I receive a warning message saying the selection is locked: You can't make this change because this selection is locked." The file is now locked for editing; any fix for this problem? - from Microsoft Community

Do not worry. This post from EaseUS will give a detailed guide on unlocking the selection and accessing your Word files again. You can read the page content first to get the basic information.

you can't make this change because the selection is locked

Fix 1. Solve Locked Selection Caused by File Corruption with EaseUS Fixo File Repair

If your Word files have suffered from a sudden shutdown, they will likely get corrupted; you need to repair them with Office document repair software or tools like EaseUS Fixo Document Repair.

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With the help of this reliable software, opening and repairing Word files is a breeze. Let's delve into the powerful functions of this tool by studying its cases:

You can click the button to free download EaseUS Fixo Document Repair and follow the instructions below to save your problematic Word Files:

Step 1. Download and launch Fixo on your PC or laptop. Choose "File Repair" to repair corrupted Office documents, including Word, Excel, PDF, and others. Click "Add Files" to select corrupted documents.

add files to repair documents with Fixo

Step 2. To repair multiple files at once, click the "Repair All" button. If you want to repair a single document, move your pointer to the target file and choose "Repair". You can also preview the documents by clicking the eye icon.

select documents to repair

Step 3. Click "Save" to save a selected document. Select "Save All" to save all the repaired files. Choose "View Repaired" to locate the repaired folder.

save repaired documents in Fixo

To help more users facing this locked selection issue of Word files, share this post to mainstream social platforms or technical forums.


Fix 2. Activate Office Suite to Fix Cannot Make Change Because the Selection Is Locked

If the issue persists, you may turn the target to see if the problem is in Microsoft Office. The first thing to do is to activate your Office like this to fix Microsoft Word has stopped working:

Step 1. Open Microsoft Word on your PC. Go to "File" > "Account".

Step 2. Locate and click on "Activate Product".

click activation required or activate product

Step 3. When the new window appears, type in your credentials and follow the instructions on-screen to finish the activation.

You can restart your Microsoft Word and see whether you can make changes.

Fix 3. Disable Mark as Final Option to Unlock the Selection

One of the leading reasons that you cannot edit the Word files is that the document turned read-only because it is marked as final by the author. Simply disabling the Word options may help resolve this error. Here is what you should follow to solve Microsoft Word won't open:

Step 1. Open your Word files and go to "File" > "Info".

Step 2. Click "Protect Document" from the right panel to expand the drop-down menu.

Step 3. You will see the Mark as Final option highlighted if it is already enabled. Just click it to turn it off.

uncheck mark as final

Fix 4. Disable Restrict Editing And Enable Design Mode to Fix Selection Is Locked Error

You can't make this change because the selection is locked error message may also pop out when you have intentionally or accidentally enabled the Restrcit Editing option. Let's see how to enable the Developer tab and turn off the Restrict Editing like this:

Step 1. Open the Word document with a locked selection. Go to "Review" and locate "Restrict Editing" under "Protect".

Step 2. In the "Restrict Editing" panel, tap on "Stop Protection". 

Step 3. If you have encrypted the document, enter the password in the "Unprotect Document" box and hit Enter.

click on stop protection

It would be great to share this post on your social media to help more people unlock the selection in Word.


Fix 5. Unlock the Locked Selection by Modifying the Properties of the Document

If you are editing titles and some other single element and encounter this locked selection that stops you from making changes, there are chances that your metadata will be corrupted or lost. You can try modifying the properties of your document.

Step 1. Open your Word file with the problem and go to "File" > "Info".

Step 2. Navigate to the right panel and click "Properties". Choose "Advanced Properties" from the drop-down menu.

modify properties

Step 3. Modify the displayed element as you want under the Summary tab. Once you are done, click the "OK" to save the changes.

FAQs on You Can't Make This Change because the Selection Is Locked

Here are some frequently asked questions on this file error message. Read them one by one to solve your doubts.

1. What to do if you can't make this change because the selection is locked?

You can try the five fixes as follows:

  • Activate Office suite
  • Turn off Mark as the Final Option
  • Disable Restrict Editing and enable design selection
  • Repair corrupted Word documents with EaseUS Fixo Document Repair
  • Modify the Document Properties

2. Why is my Microsoft Word saying it's locked?

It is possible that your files are shared and some other user is editing simultaneously when you open them. Still, you have likely already opened it in the background, and it is corrupted due to the sudden shutdown of your app.

3. How do I remove a locked selection in Word?

You can simply try these three methods: disabling restricted editing, turning off the mark as final, and removing word edit restrictions with PassFab for Word.


In this post, we have discussed five effective ways to solve the error message: "You can't make this change because the selection is locked." You can disable the Mark as Final option, Restrict Editing, activate the Office Suite, and modify the Properties of your Word document. But if your Word files are corrupted, always use file repair software like EaseUS Fixo Document Repair for help. Try it now!

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author Finley


Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.

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