Want to protect your document from unauthorized access? Here is how to encrypt or password protect a Word document in simple steps.
Most of us create Word documents and save them normally. If needed, we even share them freely. If not directly with the public, at least with our friends and family. However, what if there is something sensitive in the document and you want to protect it from prying eyes? In that case, you have to protect the Word document with a password.
With a password, you can restrict who can view the document. In fact, only the user(s) with a valid password can decrypt and read the document. If you don’t share the password, others cannot open the document.
For example, you may be writing your first novel or adding some financial information to a document. In those situations, encrypting the document and protecting it with a password will ensure its security, and only authorized persons can view the document.
Thankfully, the MS Word application has options to password protect a document and secure it with strong encryption for a long time now. In fact, there are multiple ways to protect a document in Word. For instance, you can restrict others from editing the document, open in read-only mode, encrypt Word document with a password, etc. To put it simply, you can password protect any Word document with just a couple of clicks.
So, without delay, let me show you how to password protect a Word document in simple steps and screenshots.
Password protect a Word document
To password protect a Word document, you need to select the Protect Document option and choose the appropriate settings. Here is where to find the option and how to configure it.
- Open the Word document you want to password-protect.
- Click on the “File” tab.
- Select the “Info” tab on the sidebar.
- Click on the “Protect Document” option.
- Select the “Encrypt with Password” option.
- Type a password of your choice and click “Ok.”
- Reenter the same password again and click “Ok.”
- With that, the Word document is encrypted and password protected.
Detailed steps with screenshots and a bit more info:
First, open the Word document you want to password-protect. You can either find the document in the File Explorer or open the Word application and find it under the “Recent” section on the main page. Remember that you will only find the document under the Recent section of the Word application only if the document is opened recently.
After opening the document, click on the “File” tab. Next, select the “Info” tab on the sidebar to see more options. Click on the “Protect Document” option and select the “Encrypt with Password” option.
As soon as you select the option, Word will prompt for a password. Type a password of your choice and click the “Ok” button.
A quick tip: A good password should be at least ten characters long with a mix of capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Create a password that is hard to guess but easy to remember as a rule of thumb.
Word will ask you to confirm the password. Reenter the password and click the “Ok” button to confirm it.
Word will encrypt the document with the given password as soon as you do that. You will see the “A password is required to open this document” message on the Info page of the document.
That is all. It is that simple to password protect a Word document. Remember that you cannot open an encrypted Word document without the password. So, make sure to remember or save the password somewhere secure, like a password manager (Bitwarden or LastPass).
Open Password Protected Word document
To open an encrypted and password-protected Word document, follow the below steps.
- Find the password-protected Word document.
- Double-click on the Word document.
- Type the password when prompted.
- Click the “Ok” button.
- Word will decrypt the document and open it if the password is correct.
Detailed steps with screenshots:
First, find and double-click on the password-protected or encrypted Word document. You can do that in the File Explorer or from the Recent section on Word’s main page.
Word will prompt for the password as soon as you do that. Type the password and click the “Ok” button.
Word will decrypt the file and open it immediately if the password is correct.
If the password is incorrect, Word will show the “The password is incorrect. Word cannot open the document” message. In that case, type the correct password to open the password-protected document.
That is all. It is that simple to encrypt and password-protect a Word document.
I hope this easy how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need some help, comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.