Got a private diary entry, financial sheet, or important work presentation you don’t want anyone else to see? Microsoft Office allows you to add passwords to your Word documents, Excel workbooks, and PowerPoint presentations to prevent nosy family, friends, and criminals from accessing your private information.

Here’s how to do it.

How to add a password to your Word, Excel or PowerPoint file

How to add a password to your Microsoft Office file


  1. Open the Microsoft Office file you want to protect
  2. Click File
  3. Click Info
  4. Click Protect Document
  5. Click Encrypt with Password
  6. Enter a password and click OK
  7. Confirm your password and click OK

This will add a password to your Microsoft Office file to prevent anyone else from opening it. (Need help creating a secure password? See our password tips.)

Important: Don’t forget your password, or you’ll be locked out of your file forever! Not even Microsoft can help you recover a forgotten password.

How to remove a password from your Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file

Open your password-protected Microsoft Office file

  1. Click File
  2. Click Info
  3. Click Protect Document
  4. Click Encrypt with Password
  5. Delete your password and click OK

This will remove the password from your Microsoft Office file and allow anyone to open it.

These instructions work for the following Microsoft Office apps:

  • Excel for Office 365
  • Word for Office 365
  • PowerPoint for Office 365
  • Excel 2016
  • Word 2016
  • PowerPoint 2016
  • Excel 2013
  • Word 2013
  • PowerPoint 2013
  • Excel 2010
  • Word 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • Excel Starter 2010
  • Office 2010
  • Word Starter 2010

Bonus! Protect your private documents from spyware

AVG Internet Security’s new Sensitive Data Shield feature blocks spyware and untrusted apps from accessing your most sensitive Word documents, Excel workbooks, PowerPoint presentations, and other private documents.

Protect your private documents with a free, 30-day trial of AVG Internet Security:

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