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Encrypt Word, PowerPoint, and Excel Files With a Password

< 1 minute read


Whether it’s a draft of a new business contract or a backup copy of the diary you kept diligently using Word 95, you probably have some documents you’d like to add a layer of password protection to. If you’re using the Office 2013 or 2016 suite, you have an easy method of keeping your file contents safe from prying eyes with the “Encrypt with password” feature.

This process applies to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files.

  1. From the File tab, select Info.
  2. Click the Protect Document button.
  3. Select Encrypt with Password.
  4. Enter a password and click OK. Make sure to remember or store your password in a secure place, since it cannot be recovered, even by Microsoft.

To remove password encryption, open the document with the password and repeat steps 1-2. In the password dialog box, delete the contents so it is empty, and click OK.


  • Saving documents in shared or protected locations (such as on a permissions-restricted SharePoint site) doesn’t affect encryption settings. Users will still have to enter a password to view the protected file.
  • Admins: there isn’t a setting that forces users to password-protect documents. According to TechNet, however, “there is an administrative setting that prevents users from adding passwords to documents and, therefore, prevent documents from being encrypted. For more information, see Cryptography and encryption settings… If you do allow users to password protect documents, and they later forget or lose the password, you can use the DocRecrypt tool to reset or remove the password. For more information, see the Remove or reset file passwords in Office 2013 article.”

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