How to Secure Microsoft Office Files

Protect your data with a password

Man on the Phone at His Office.

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Microsoft Office has built-in encryption options to safeguard your important documents, spreadsheets, and emails. Here's how to set up passwords for Word and Excel.

How to Secure Microsoft Word Docs

For Microsoft Word documents, you can choose a higher level of security when saving a file.

These instructions apply to Word for Office 365, Word Online, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word for Office 365 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, Word 2016 for Mac, and Word for Mac 2011.

  1. Go to File and select Info.

    Info tab in Word
  2. Select Protect Document.

    Protect Document button in Word
  3. Select Encrypt with Password.

    Encrypt with Password button in Word
  4. Type a password, then type it again to confirm it. Select OK to save.

    Passwords are case-sensitive and can be a maximum of 15 characters long.

    Password window in Word with the OK button highlighted
  5. Save your file so the password takes effect.

How to Secure Excel Files

The steps necessary to protect an Excel file are similar to those used for Word.

These instructions apply to Excel for Office 365, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel for Office 365 for Mac, Excel 2019 for Mac, and Excel 2016 for Mac.

  1. Go to File and select Info.

    Info tab in Excel
  2. Select Protect Workbook.

    Protect Workbook button in Excel
  3. Choose Encrypt with Password.

    Encrypt with Password button in Excel
  4. Enter a password and select OK.

  5. Reenter the password to confirm it, then select OK.