Software & Apps MS Office How to Unlock a Password-Protected Word Document Get back to work on that doc by Scott Orgera Writer Scott Orgera is a former writer who covering tech since 2007. He has 25+ years experience as a programmer and QA leader, and holds several Microsoft certifications. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Scott Orgera Updated on February 20, 2020 POJCHEEWIN YAPRASERT PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty Images MS Office Word Excel Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email Microsoft Word offers different levels of protection that can be applied to your documents, allowing you to dictate whether or not someone else can edit the content or open the document. This is done by locking documents with a password and configuring various protection settings based on your individual needs. Instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010. How to Lock a Word Document in Windows Lock your document using password protection functionality in Word. The password is not recoverable, so store it somewhere safe. Open the Word document you wish to protect. Select the File tab, located in the upper-left corner, then select Info from the left menu pane. Select Protect Document. A drop-down menu will appear containing several options. Select Encrypt with Password. In the Encrypt Document dialog box, enter a password. This password is required whenever anyone attempts to open the document going forward. Select OK. When prompted, enter the password again and select OK. A message appears in the Protect Document section stating a password is required to open this document. How to Lock a Word Document in macOS Follow the directions below to lock your document using the password protection functionality in macOS. Open the Word document that you wish to protect. Select the Review tab, located near the top of the Word interface. Select Protect Document. In the Password Protect dialog box, go to the Set a password to open this document text box and enter a password. Re-enter the password to confirm it and click OK. How to Add Restrictions to a Word Document in Windows In addition to locking a Word document with a password, you can apply additional restrictions that control the specific types of edits other users can make. This is helpful if you want to provide others access to the document and want to limit certain changes to the document's content. Select the Review tab. In the Protect group, select Restrict Editing. The Restrict Editing pane appears on the right side of the screen and contains configurable formatting and editing restrictions. These include the ability to only allow comments, tracked changes, or form entries within the document. You can also limit formatting to a specific set of styles (for example, HTML only). Additionally, you can select specific regions of your document to only allow designated groups to edit them while restricting changes to all other users. Select the X in the upper-right corner of the Restrict Editing interface once you're satisfied with your settings. How to Add Restrictions on macOS The restrictions differ slightly in Word for Mac. Select the Review tab, located towards the top of the Word interface. Select Protect Document. In the Password Protect dialog box, go to the Protection section and select the Protect document for check box. Choose one of the following options: Tracked changesCommentsRead onlyForms Select the Privacy check box if you want to remove personal information when the file is saved. Click OK once satisfied with your settings. How to Remove a Password From a Word Document If you've previously locked a Word document, removing its password protection restriction is a fairly simple process, provided you're signed in as the document owner. Depending on your platform, repeat the steps in the respective tutorial above until you've returned to the Protect Document button. For Windows Select the File tab and choose Info. Select Protect Document. Select Encrypt with Password. Remove the password from the field provided. Select OK to unlock the document. For macOS Go to the Review tab and select Protect Document. Remove the password or passwords from the fields provided. Click OK to unlock the document. While these features are not available in Word Online, you can control who you share your documents with as well as whether or not they have edit access to said documents.