Protect a document with a password

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

If you lose or forget your password, Word won't be able to recover it for you. Be sure to keep the a copy of the password in a safe place or create a strong password that you’ll remember.

  1. Go to File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password.

  2. Type a password, then type it again to confirm it.

  3. Save the file to make sure the password takes effect.

  1. Go to Review > Protect Document.

    On the Review tab, Protect Document is highlighted

  2. Under Security, you can select whether to enter a password to open the document, modify the document, or both. Enter each password again to confirm.

    On the Password Protect dialog box, Security is highlighted

  3. Click OK.

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click Security  Security Preferences button .

  3. In the Password to open box, type a password, and then click OK.

  4. In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again, and then click OK.

  5. Click Save  Save button .

Word Online can’t encrypt a document with a password, and it can’t open documents encrypted with a password. If you want to protect the file with a password, click or tap Open in Word to open your document in the desktop version of Word. After you've added password protection, you’ll need to use the Word desktop program to open the document.

Password reset for IT admins

If you're concerned about end-users in your organization losing access to password protected Office files, the DocRecrypt tool might be for you. Note that you have to deploy the DocRecrypt tool BEFORE the file in question is password protected. DocRecrypt can't retroactively recover files that were password protected before you deployed DocRecrypt. For more information see: Remove or reset file passwords using DocRecrypt.

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