Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Encrypt and Protect a Word 2011 Document

Microsoft Word allows you to encrypt and password protect a document.  Without the password, the file cannot be opened.

Since you require the password to open the file it is advisable to keep a record of the file and the password used to encrypt it.

Note:  If you lose or forget the password, there is no way to recover the password.  Data that has been encrypted cannot be recovered without the password.

  1. Open the document you want to password protect
    • Open the Word menu
    • Select Preferences...

    screen shot illustrating above step

  2. The Word Preferences screen will open
    • From the Personal Settings section select Security

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  3. The Security screen will open
    • In the Password to open: box enter a password for the document
    • Click the OK button
    • Note:  If you choose the Password to modify: option this will not encrypt the document.

    screen shot illustrating above step

  4. The Confirm Password screen will open
    • Re-enter the password to confirm it. 
    • Do NOT copy & paste the password.  If you made a mistake while entering the password originally, the mistake will be copied and you will not be able to open the file.

    screen shot illustrating above step