Password protecting Microsoft Word and Excel documents

Tip: Before password protecting any document, you may want to create a backup of the non-password protected file in case you forget the password in the future.

Microsoft ExcelUsers who are creating a Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel document that they want to keep confidential or to only be viewed by people who should be viewing it may want to enable a Microsoft Word or Excel password on the file to help protect the contents of the file. Below are the steps required for creating a Microsoft Word or Excel document with a password.

  1. Open Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel and the document you want to password protect.
  2. Click File
  3. Click Save As
  4. In the Save As window, click the Tools option in the upper right-hand side of the window.
  5. From the Tools drop-down menu, select General Options
  6. This opens a Save window that allows you to specify a password used to open the file or modify the file.

Password to open - Entering a password for this option makes the file only readable to the users who know the password.

Password to modify - Entering a password for this option allows you to view the file but only edit and save the file if they know the password. Keep in mind, however, that a user could open the file, copy the contents of the file to another file, and modify and create their own document.