How to Password Protect Excel File


If you’ve got an Excel file that contains critical information that you need to share with other people, you may want to consider putting a password lock on that file. Password protecting your Excel file ensures that anyone who gets the file but doesn’t have the password won’t be able to see any of the information. In this video I’ll show you how to put password protection in both the Excel for Office 365 and desktop Excel versions. At present, you aren’t able to put password protection in the Excel mobile client. Examples of all instructions in the steps can be seen in the YouTube video below.

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Steps to Password Protect Excel File

  1. Open the Excel file you want to password protect, and then click “File” in the menu along the top of the screen to open a menu.
  2. Choose “Info” in the menu. The Info screen is displayed.
  3. Click “Protect Workbook” to open a drop-down menu, and then choose “Encrypt with Password.” The Encrypt Document window is shown.
  4. Enter the password you want to use to lock the Excel file and then click “OK.” Another window appears prompting you to re-enter the same password. Re-enter the same password and then click “OK” again. You’ll be returned to the Info screen, where you’ll see the Password Workbook item is highlighted, with a note that says a password is required to open this workbook.

Going forward, whenever anyone tries to open this file they’ll be prompted to enter a password before they can access the file.

Steps to Turn Off Excel File Password Protection

You can remove the password lock on your Excel file by doing the following.

  1. Open the Excel file and then navigate back to the Info screen.
  2. Click “Protect Workbook” to open a drop-down menu and then click “Encrypt with Password.” The Encrypt Document window is shown.
  3. Remove the existing password in the Password field to make it blank, and then click “OK.” You’ll return to the Info screen, and a password will no longer be required to open this file going forward. You will need to re-send this file to anyone who has the locked file if you want them to have the version of the file that doesn’t require a password.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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