Password Protect and Encrypt Word Documents

Microsoft Office programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, have the encryption feature which allow us to easily set a password to protect our Office documents for very long time. You can find this feature in various Office versions, such as Office 97, Office 2000, Office XP, Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010, Office 2013, etc. If you saved important and private data in Office documents you can make use of the password protection security feature to protect your documents, workbooks, and presentations with a user-provided password. In this guide, we will show you how to password protect Word documents. The example use Word 2013 on a Windows 10 PC. The password encryption method applies to different Office Word versions, like Word 2010, 2013, and so on. Also the process is consistent across the core Office suite (Word 2013, Excel 2013, PowerPoint 2013 etc.). You will also learn how to cancel or remove password protection from Word documents, password protect many Word documents in a folder. Want to protect Excel spreadsheet? Check out the steps to protect Excel workbook with a password. The process is almost the same.

How to password protect and encrypt Word documents?

Open your Word document or run Word and create a new document. Click File menu from the top left corner, then select Info, you will then find all information about the current Word document, such as Properties, dates, author, document protection, documents inspection, versions, etc. See below screen.

protect word document

Click Protect Document from above screen to control what types of changes people can make to this document. You will open a drop-down menu like below.

encrypt word document with password

Here you can restrict editing of Word documents, restrict access of Word documents and encrypt document with password, etc. Click Encrypt with Password to password-protect this document, you will open the Encrypt Document dialogue where you can type a password to protect the Word doc, see below screenshot.

enter password to encrypt word document

Note that the password you set to protect Word cannot be recovered. It is advisable to use a password you can remember or keep a list of passwords and corresponding document names in a safe place. Also the Word encryption passwords are case-sensitive. If you did not forget the password to open Word but still get password invalid or wrong error prompt, double check see if you have used any uppercase (capital letters) or lowercase (small letters) letters in the password. Click OK button when you finished inputting the password, you will need to reenter the password again.

reenter password to encrypt word document

Repeat the same password to confirm password and Word document encryption. Save the Word document to your computer and close it. The next time anyone trying to open the encrypted Word doc, he or she will be required to type in the password first. Anyone without the correct password won’t be able to pass the authentication and can’t open or read the password protected Word document.

How to remove password from Word document?

If you want to decrypt the Word document, you have to firstly open the encrypted Word document with the right password, then go to File menu >> Info >> Protect Document >> Encrypt with Password >> Encrypt Document. Then remove or delete the existing password and click OK button to confirm the change, after that save the Word document and quit. The next time, you can simply double click to open the Word document without any password protection.

How to quickly password protect a folder of many Word documents?

Following above instructions you can only set a password to protect a Word document one by one. If you have multiple or many Word documents, how can you set a password to protect all Word documents or a folder of different Word documents instead of individual files in that folder? If you want to encrypt the entire folder other than individual Word document, you will need to use a third party app. For example you can refer to this guide to encrypt folders and files on computer. This linked guide can help you encrypt a whole folder of Word and/or other Office documents or files rather than document by document. You can also use it to password protect email, lock files and data on computer hard drive as long as flash drive, portable hard drive and so on.