How to Password Protect a Word, Excel or Powerpoint file

When sharing information that is meant to only be seen by certain people such as work-related information or your own personal information, it is important that this information is protected, and that the information you are sharing is only being seen by those you intended to share that information with. In order to make sure that your information is protected, password protecting your work will help to keep this information away from those you don’t want to have access or those who shouldn’t have access. Either with Word documents, excel and pdfs it’s important that these are protected and that you understand how to protect them.

It’s important to send the password using another form of communication, this could be by phone, text or letter. If you send it by email then there’s a greater chance of it being linked to the document you want to protect.

With Word you have different options on how you can protect your information, you can; prevent unauthorized users from accessing your document, remove their ability to modify your information and leave you feedback on your work.

To set a password on your Word, Excel or PowerPoint file click  File > Info > Protected Document > Encrypt with Password. You’ll be asked to create a password, then to confirm it.

After you’ve added a password to your file, that password will need to be entered before anybody can open the file.


The password you set is case sensitive and can only be a maximum of 15 characters long, so when creating a password make sure to remember when and where you used capitals. Moreover, when creating a password using your name, first or last, the numbers 1234 or the word password should be avoided as these are all very common and easy to guess passwords. The best passwords are those that consist of the minimum of six characters, that are characters, numbers and symbols. So a password like “ Z8XM9G! “ is a example of a good password (except your password should be longer than 6 characters), though this would be hard to remember so having rhythms to help remember them can help, such as “ ZIGZAG Eight XBOX MUSIC Nine GALLERY “ to represent each character can make its easier.