Do you often use Word documents with personal data, confidential or commercial information? How to hide from prying eyes that is intended to see and know only to you? To you, and nobody else!
A home computer at any time can become a platform for family members to explore your innermost secrets stored on your hard drive. And there is no need to talk about a working computer that any of the company's employees have access to - this is far from the best place to store important Word documents.
Fortunately, Microsoft, the creator of the Office software suite of applications, made sure to protect your Word documents from prying eyes. How to put a password on a Word document, and how to remove it later - we will consider these issues in more detail below.
The essence of the idea is extremely simple: when creating a Word document, the author, wishing that no one could see this document except him, protects it with a password. Upon further opening, the Microsoft Word application (however, like any other office application (LibreOffice, Kingsoft Office, Google Docs Internet services, Office Web Apps) will require you to enter the same password. And without a password, this Word document will not open.
What password for a Word document to come up with?
Before proceeding directly to the instructions for setting a password on a Word document, a few words about the compilation of the password itself. The complexity of the password is determined by the importance of the data contained in the Word document that you want to protect from prying eyes, as well as the level of computer use of those people for whom you set the password. Protecting the Word-document from children in the house, you can put a simple and easy to remember password, for example, consisting of a set of one digits. But if you intend to hide the contents of a Word document while working in a company with IT professionals, come up with a more complicated password, where numbers and letters of both lower and upper case would be used.
Passwords that are too simple can easily be decrypted by special programs designed to crack passwords. In the matter of creating a strong password, a special type of program - password managers - will always help you. Programs of this kind, as a rule, have the function of generating passwords of varying complexity.
How to set a password on a Word document?
In Microsoft Word 2007, to set a password for a document, select the Microsoft Office menu (the usual “File”), then the “Prepare” menu item, and then “Encrypt Document”. In the appeared window of document encryption, enter your password and click "OK". In the "Confirm Password" window, re-enter the password and click "OK" again. All - the password for the Word document is set.
Close your document and open it again - now to view it you will need to enter your password. Otherwise, the Word document will not open.
You can do the same procedure in Microsoft Word 2003 through the Tools menu, then Settings, then Security.
For Microsoft Word 2010, the path is as follows: the “Microsoft Office” button, then “Protect Document”, then “Encrypt with Password”.
How to delete a password previously set on a Word document?
In Microsoft Word 2007, open your Word document on which you previously set a password. Then follow the same path as for setting the password - recall the “Microsoft Office” menu, then the “Prepare” menu item, and then “Encrypt the document”. In the appeared window of document encryption, delete the password that you previously entered and click “OK”. After closing your Word-document, you will see a program message about the changes made in the document. Click "Yes." All - Word document is no longer password protected. It can be freely opened by any user on the computer.
You can do the same procedure in Microsoft Word 2003 through the "Tools" menu, then "Settings", then "Security", where the previously set password must be removed from the "Password to open file" field.
For Microsoft Word 2010, the way is this: the “Microsoft Office” button, then “Protect the document”, then “Encrypt with password”, where the previously set password must be removed from the document encryption window.
How to protect a Word document from changes?
Perhaps your situation does not require such a cardinal solution as setting a password to open a Word document. For example, you do not need to hide its contents from prying eyes, but you would like to prohibit making changes to it - its editing and formatting.
In Microsoft Word 2007, go to the “Review” tab, and then click on the “Protect Document” function. In the menu that appears on the sidebar, you can select the types of restrictions for your Word document - formatting restrictions, as well as editing restrictions. To apply restrictions, click the "Enable Protection" command, then in the window that appears, enter your password and repeat it. Click "OK" - everything, your Word-document is password protected from formatting and editing.
From now on, no matter how violently another user does not want to make changes to your Word document - add something, delete, change the font or color, your document will answer that you need to first turn off its protection.
Disabling document protection from changes is very simple. Here, in the “Review” tab, again open the “Protect Document” function and press the “Disable Protection” command. Enter your password and all - all restrictions from your Word-document are removed.
You can do the same procedure in Microsoft Word 2003 through the Tools menu, then Protect Document.
For Microsoft Word 2010, the way is this: the “Microsoft Office” button, then “Details”, then “Restrict editing”.
To summarize ...
As you can see, setting a password for a Word document is a fairly simple process that can be done in just a couple of clicks.
Microsoft Word, in terms of setting passwords, has one rather tough feature - the inability to recover forgotten passwords. Alas, if you forget the password to your document, Microsoft Word will not send it to you by e-mail, SMS on a mobile phone, even the mother’s maiden name will not help ... So be extremely careful. And just in case, store the password for the Word document somewhere separately recorded.
To organize more reliable, comprehensive protection of your data on a computer that is accessible to different users - family members, especially children, employees at work, use your personal (password-protected, of course) Windows account. Restrict your personal account information from being viewed by users of other operating system accounts.
Set a password to open a document
- Create a new one or open an existing Word document.
- Press the “Office” button and mouse over the item “Prepare a document for distribution”.
- In the list of available functions, click on “Encrypt Document”:
- The “Document Encryption” window opens, where you must specify a password to protect the document and click the “OK” button. Information on how to come up with a complex password and easily remember it can be useful to you:
Also, Microsoft kindly reports that:
- forgotten password there is no way to recover
- when entering the password, it is necessary to consider the case of letters (the moment when the size matters),
- It is recommended that you store your password in a safe place (for example, in a secure password manager repository).
- After you specify the password, the “Confirm Password” window will be displayed. Here it remains to duplicate the password specified earlier and click "OK":
- The password is set when the document is saved, so click on the “Save” icon or use the keyboard shortcut “CTRL + S”:
- It remains to verify the correct configuration. If you close the file and try to run it again, you will see that the contents of the document are completely closed from prying eyes, and the “Password” window is displayed in the middle:
- A password-protected document can only be opened by entering the correct password. If you specify an incorrect password, a window appears:
Thus, if the password is lost or forgotten, it will be impossible to see the contents.
Set a password to change a document
This function is very relevant for team work, where many people work on one document and to protect the contents and file, it is necessary to provide different access rights for editing and reading.
Let's look at how to put a password on the contents of a Word document:
- Open an existing or create a new Microsoft Word document.
- Go to the “Review” tab, click on the “Protect document” block in the panel and select “Restrict formatting and editing”:
- After the transition, a menu opens where three functions are displayed:
- formatting restriction (styles, headings, lists, selections, etc.),
- restriction on editing (making any changes to the contents of the document),
- enable protection (set a password to change the document):
- Make a mark in the second paragraph and select the parameter you are interested in:
- read only (no changes can be made without a password)
- data entry in the form fields (the name speaks for itself),
- notes (the ability to make notes on the content without entering a password),
- record of corrections (any changes to the document are recorded and displayed):
- Now in the third paragraph “Enable protection” click the “Yes, enable protection” button:
- As part of this article, we are considering the possibility of setting a password, so select it twice in the displayed fields for recording and click the "OK" button.
- After these manipulations, you will see a window with a note that the document is protected from unauthorized editing and all that is allowed is viewing the content (provided that the "read-only" option is selected):
Functions have quite flexible settings. Here, at the bottom of the window there is a button that allows you to disable protection and provide editing access to anyone.
If the text and pictures are not perceived - watch the video on the topic on the YouTube channel "Useful tips":
Something in the end
Any text can be here, anyway no one will come here and read it. Nevertheless, as conclusions, it is worth noting that the protection of personal files, documents, folders and the system is an important component of security and cybersecurity. In this regard, if you are working with Microsoft Word documents whose contents are of any material or moral value to you, set a password for the document or its contents. This is quite simple to do - it does not even take a minute, and at any time, the password on the Word document can be deleted.
How to password protect a Word document
First, open the Word document that you want to password protect. Then click “File” and click “Protect Document” in the “Information” section.
From there, click Encrypt with password.
Word prompts you to enter a password. Choose one, but keep in mind that if you forget what it is, you will lose access to this document.
After you select a password, Microsoft Word prompts you to enter it every time you want to open this document. Remember that this protects only one target document. Each Word document that you want to password protect must be created individually.
Related: How to password protect a PDF document