How to password protect a Word document

You can password protect a Word document by going to File > Info > Protect document > Encrypt with password.

It can be extremely useful – vital in some cases – to password protect Word documents and protect them from prying eyes.

There are many reasons to protect your Word document, such as to enable safe document sharing, or simply because it contains sensitive information that should not be seen by unauthorized personnel. 

In just a few clicks, you can protect your Word document from being opened by unauthorized people, prevent further changes from being made, or only allow a read-only copy to be made available. 

How to password protect Word documents in different operating systems

Depending on the operating system you use, the process to password protect Word documents will be slightly different.

Below we will cover how to add a password to a Word document on Windows and on a Mac. 

How to password protect a Word document in Windows 

If you’re using Windows, follow these steps to password protect your Word document: 

  1. Click on File
  2. Click on Info
  3. Click Protect document 
  4. Select the Encrypt with Password option 
  5. Type in your desired password
  6. Click OK
  7. Retype your password 
  8. Click OK

You will now be prompted to enter your password every time you open the Word document.

It is very difficult to recover your password if you forget it, so make sure you use a password you are confident you will remember if you don’t want to lose access to your document!

How to password protect a Word document on a Mac

If you’re using a Mac, once you have opened the document, follow these steps to protect it with a password:

  1. Click on the Review tab
  2. Click Protect
  3. Click the Protect Document option 
  4. Type in your desired password 
  5. Choose what you want to protect the document from 
  6. Click OK 
  7. Enter your password again
  8. Click OK

Remember,  just like with Windows, you cannot retrieve lost passwords so ensure you will remember your password or write it down in a secure location.

You don’t want to be responsible for losing access to all of your company’s important marketing documents

How to lock a Word document

If you have information in Microsoft Word that you want to protect, you can also lock a Word document and restrict who can read or edit it or the type of modifications that can be made. 

You may have templates in Word that you only want to share with certain people or final drafts that you want to protect from further edits. 

As well as using password protection, you can protect your document by:

  • Using read only mode. The document can be read or copied, but not modified.
  • Restricting editing. Restricts the type of changes that can be made to the document or who can make those changes.
  • Marking your document as final. This marks the document as its final version and prevents further edits being made.

You can find these options by using the Info menu or Review tab, as described in the previous section, depending on whether you’re using Windows or a Mac. 

Remember how to encrypt a Word document and keep your documents safe

An encrypted Word document keeps private or sensitive information safe and secure.

Using PandaDoc’s document management software adds another layer of protection by using secure access for all of your documents in one place. 

This not only improves security but can improve productivity, team communication and collaboration, provide consistent branding across your documents, and ensure documents are properly stored and backed up.