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How to Password Protect Excel Files

Joshua is a graduate student at the USF. He has interests in business technology, analytics, finance, and lean six sigma.

Adding a password to an Excel file will keep sensitive information in your workbook 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 workbook 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.

1. Choose File

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

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.

2. 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."

how-to-password-protect-excel-files

3. Choose Encrypt With Password

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

how-to-password-protect-excel-files

4. Enter Password Twice

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

how-to-password-protect-excel-files

Password Protected

At this point, the workbook is now password protected.

Workbook Password Protected

Workbook Password Protected

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

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.

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

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