Do you have a personal document or important work presentation that you don’t want people to see?
You can protect personal and confidential information in a Word or PDF document by setting a password for the file. This encrypts the contents of the file so that no one can access it or read any program without first entering a password.
Password protection for Word document
You can protect your Word document with a password to keep your content safe and secure, preventing unauthorized access. The program offers various levels of protection, including password-locking documents and configuring various security settings to suit your needs.
However, these features are not available in Word Online, but you can control file sharing and specify if someone else has access to edit the content or even open it.
If you use Google Docs, your documents are protected by your Google Account password, as the service does not support password protection. Just be careful not to divulge your account password or share a document with anyone and you are safe.
The steps below apply to Microsoft Word 2010 or later for Windows users, with alternate paths for Mac users.
How to password protect a Word document on Windows
- Starting Microsoft Word, click File> Open and locate the document you want to password protect.
- Click File again and select Info in the left pane.
- Select Protect Document.
- Select Encrypt with Password from the drop-down menu. Enter a password that you can remember and will be required when someone tries to open this document.
- Click OK. Enter the password again and click OK.
- In the “Protect Document” section, you will see a message stating that a password is required to open this document.
How to password protect a Word document on macOS
If you are using macOS, the steps are slightly different from those on the Windows operating system.
- Open the Word document that you want to lock with password protection and click the Browse tab. Li>
- Click Protect Document. You will see the Password Protect dialog box on top of the main Word window.
- Enter a password in the “Set a password to open this document” field and re-enter the selected password again to confirm it. In the “Set a password to change this document” field, enter the password and enter the password again.
- Click OK. From now on, when the user opens the document, he will be prompted for a password. They can read and edit it, if the author has not used additional protections
Note. Passwords are not recoverable, so make sure you enter one you can remember or keep it in a safe place. They are also case sensitive and can be up to 15 characters long.
How to remove password protection restrictions from a Word document
How to remove restrictions of password protection from Word document
If you have locked a Word document with password protection and want to unlock it, log in as the document owner and repeat the steps above for Windows or macOS until you return to the Protect Document button.
For Windows Users:
- Click Protect Document> Encrypt With Password.
- Remove the password field.
- Click OK to unlock the document.
The section “Protecting a Document” will now read: “Anyone can open, copy and modify any part of this document.”
For macOS users:
- Click the Overview tab.
- Click Protect Document.
- Remove the password from the provided field.
- Click OK to unlock the document.
Password protect PDF document
Password protection for a PDF document
Whether you are using Windows or macOS, there are several ways you can password protect a PDF document Fortunately, PDFs have built-in support for password-protected encryption, unlike Microsoft Word.
We are going to show you how to password protect a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word. If you are more interested in making changes to your PDF, we have a simple guide to the easiest ways to edit a PDF
Using Adobe Acrobat
You can encrypt, add a certificate or password to a PDF document, and control access to your file.
Within an organization or group, you can also create your own security policies that anyone can use to apply password protection to PDFs the same way every time.
Acrobat Pro DC includes a Post Confidential Information action that guides you through several steps to password-protect a file while automatically enforcing editing and copying restrictions.
If you haven’t installed it on your computer and don’t want to pay for it, you can use a free seven-day trial and access this feature.
- Open the PDF document you want to password protect by choosing File> Open.
- Click File again and select Properties.
- On the Security tab, click the drop-down menu next to Security Method and select Password Protect.
- In the Open Document section, select the Require password to open document window check box.
- Enter your password in the text box.
- Save the PDF to include your open password.
Using Microsoft Word
Using Microsoft Word
You never knew that you can use Microsoft Word to password protect your PDF. You can password protect a PDF by first creating it as a Word document and then encrypting it with a password.
- Open Microsoft Word and create a document (if your document is already in PDF format, you can convert PDF to Word first and then follow these steps).
- Click File> Save As.
- Select PDF from the Save as type drop-down menu.
- Click the Options tab.
- In the pop-up window, select the Encrypt document with password check box. Enter your password twice to confirm it.
If you are not good at remembering passwords, our article on the best password managers has some great options to help you with this.