How to Lock a File with a Password in Office 2016

By Peter Weverka

Perhaps you want to submit your Office 2016 file to others for critical review but you don’t want any Tom, Dick, or Harry to look at your file. In that case, lock your file with a password and give out the password only to people whose opinions you trust. These pages explain how to password-protect a file, open a file that is locked with a password, and remove the password from a file.

Password-protecting a file

Follow these steps to clamp a password on a file, such that others need a password to open and perhaps also edit it:

  1. Go to the File tab and choose Info.

  2. In the Info window, click the Protect Document (or Workbook or Presentation) button, and choose Encrypt with Password on the drop-down list.

    The Encrypt dialog box appears, as shown.

  3. Enter a password in the Password text box and click OK.

    Others will need the password you enter to open the file. No ifs, ands, or buts. They have to enter the password.

    Passwords are case-sensitive. In other words, you have to enter the correct combination of upper- and lowercase letters to successfully enter the password. If the password is Valparaiso (with an uppercase V), entering valparaiso (with a lowercase v) is deemed the wrong password and doesn’t open the file.

  4. In the Confirm Password dialog box, enter the password again.

    The following figure shows the Confirm Password dialog box.

  5. Click OK.

    The Info window informs you that a password is required to open the file.

    Enter passwords for the file in this dialog box.

    Enter passwords for the file in this dialog box.

Removing a password from a file

Follow these steps to remove a password from a file:

  1. Open the file that needs its password removed.

  2. Go to the File tab and choose Info to open the Info window.

  3. Click the Protect Document button, and choose Encrypt with Password.

    The Encrypt dialog box appears.

  4. Delete the password and click OK.