Password Protecting and Encrypting MS Office Files (Windows)

To password protect and/or encrypt a document using Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint:

  1. Open the MS Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file you want to encrypt and password protect.
  2. Select the FILE tab.
  3. Select Info.
  4. Select Protect Document, Workbook, or Presentation > Encrypt with Password. The Encrypt Document window opens.Protect tool
  5. Enter the password to be used to access the file in the future.
  6. Click OK. You are prompted to reenter the same password.
  7. Reenter the same password.
  8. Click OK. The file is now encrypted and requires this password to open it.
  9. Don't forget to save this password in a secure password manager and securely communicate this to any users or recipients of this file. NOTE:  Do not send an email with the file and the password in the same email. Find some other manner to communicate the password to users other than email if you will be emailing the file.
  10. To reverse this, repeat the steps without entering a password. Save the document and it will no longer require a password to open it.