Password protecting Microsoft Word and Excel documents

Microsoft ExcelThe following steps give users of Microsoft Word and Excel instructions on password protecting their documents. One should be note that it's generally a good idea to create a backup copy of your file without a password in the event that you forget it. Should you choose to do so, it is best not to store the unprotected file locally, but rather on a USB stick.

  1. Open Microsoft Word or Excel and the document or spreadsheet you want to put a password on.
  2. In the top left-hand corner of the screen, Click the Microsoft Office Button.
  3. In the dropdown menu that appears, move your mouse cursor over Prepare and click Encrypt Document.
  4. Once you have selected a password, type it in the Password box, then click OK.
  5. Type your password one more time in the Reenter Password field and click OK.
  6. Save the file to save your new password.

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

Password to modify - Similar to read-only, this option allows the file to be viewed, but only users with the password may edit and save the file. Keep in mind, however, that a user could open the file then copy its contents to their own document.

Removing a password - To remove the password from a protected document, follow the steps in the previous section, but delete the characters entered in the Password fields.