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Queen's University

Encrypt and Protect Office Documents


Please feel free to call the IT Support Centre for help with these features.



  • Office 2013 Document Protection Features vary based on which application you are using. Individual Office applications like Word or Excel will have more document protection features than Access or Publisher. This is normal. Each Office Application may have none, some, or all of the Document Protection features.
  • If a document is encrypted with a password, the password must not be lost or forgotten. Recovering the document without the password is not possible.


 How to use Office 2013 Document Protection Features:


  1. Mark as Final
    • Let readers know the document is in final draft and make it read-only.
  2. Encrypt with Password
    • Encrypts and password protects an Office 2013 Document. Not every Office 2013 application allows the document or file to be encrypted.
  3. Restrict Editing
    • This feature allows only specified types of changes that others can make to the document.
  4. Protect Current Sheet (Excel) 
    • Control what types of changes others can make to the current sheet.
  5. Protect Workbook Structure (Excel) 
    • Prevent unwanted changes to the structure of the workbook, including adding sheets.
  6. Restrict Access
    • This feature is used to grant others access while removing their ability to edit, copy or print.
  7. Add a Digital Signature
    • Ensure the integrity of the document by adding an invisible signature.


How to encrypt an Office 2013 document:


If the Office 2013 program allows it, follow these steps to password-protect a document:


  1. Open the Office application 
    • Open the file in question, then select the File menu
  2. Click Info
    • Then click Protect Document
    • Then select Encrypt with Password
  3. It will prompt you twice for a password
    • Select a good secure password but do not forget it, as the file cannot be recovered without the password.


How to remove a password from an encrypted document:


  1. Open the Office application
    • Open the file in question
    • Enter the password if prompted
    • Then select the File menu
  2. Click Info
    • Then click Protect Document
    • Then select Encrypt with Password
  3. Remove the password by removing the (********) characters from the password field.
    • Then click OK

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