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How to Password Protect Excel Files

Joshua has work experience in manufacturing, distribution, and aerospace. He received his BBA in accounting from Kent State University.

Password Protected

Adding a password to an Excel file will keep sensitive information in your workbooks secret. This is especially true if the file is being emailed over an unsecured connection.

Adding a password to an Excel file will keep sensitive information in your workbooks secret. This is especially true if the file is being emailed over an unsecured connection.

I’m sure there are some Excel files on your computer that either contain personal or business data. These files should have a layer of security by applying a password to keep the wrong people out of your business. I will review how to set up a password to protect a whole file.

Choose File

The first step is to click on the file menu button in the top left-hand corner of your workbook.

1. Choose File

The illustration shows a Microsoft Excel worksheet with a red circle that indicates where the File tab is located.

The illustration shows a Microsoft Excel worksheet with a red circle that indicates where the File tab is located.

Choose Protect Workbook

You should already be in the info section of the file menu by default. If you aren't, select info from the file menu. Next, Choose the first option "Protect Workbook."

2. Choose Protect Workbook

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Encrypt Your File with a Password

Next, choose the option "Encrypt with Password" and be prepared to use a password.

3. Choose Encrypt With Password

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Enter Your Password

Now enter a password in the encrypt document window. After you click OK, enter the same password again into the new window.

4. Enter Password Twice

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Password Protected

At this point the workbook is now password protected.

Workbook Password Protected

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Once the Excel file is closed the password that was previously saved will need to be entered to access the file.

Enter Password to Open

Be sure that your password is not too complex as you will not be able to unlock the workbook without it.

Be sure that your password is not too complex as you will not be able to unlock the workbook without it.

To learn more about creating passwords and other accessibility options in Excel I recommend that you try the book shown below. I have been using the Excel Bible for years to improve my understanding of all aspects of this Microsoft product.

The Excel 2019 Bible

References

Alexander, M., Kusleika, D., & Walkenbach, J. (2019). Excel® 2019: bible. Indianapolis: Wiley.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Joshua Crowder