How to Password Protect Word Documents Like Professional Writers Do


Jason Morrell

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As an author or content creator, you've put a lot of time, thought and effort into producing your finished product. It takes less than a minute to password protect Word documents and it could save you a world of pain.

You wouldn't leave your house unlocked, so why would you leave your document - your prized work - unprotected? It's amazing how quickly somebody can steal it, plagiarise it and claim your document as their own. 

In a work situation, it only takes a momentary lapse of concentration (or a malicious act) for your document to be lost, corrupted, destroyed or altered.

1. How to password protect Word documents (method 1)

1.  Select the File tab and click Info on the left side panel, if necessary.

2.  Click the Protect Document button.

3.  Select Encrypt with Password. The Encrypt Document dialog box is displayed.

4.  Type, then re-type a secure password pressing « each time.

2. How to password protect Word documents (method 2)

There is another way which has been around for a long time but is hidden away. It allows you to create two passwords - one to OPEN a document and another to MODIFY a document.

1.  Select the File tab.

2.  Click Save As on the left sidebar then click Browse.

3.  In the Save As dialog, click Tools, which is situated to the left of the Save button. 

4.  Choose General Options from the dropdown menu.

5.  Enter a password to OPEN and a password to MODIFY. Both are optional.

6.  Select whether or not to make the document read-only.

7.  Click OK.

File - Save As - Tools - General Options

3. Simple password rules & recommendations

  • Don't forget your password. 
  • Use a password keeper/manager such as 1Password, LastPass, Keeper or Dashlane. I highly recommend this inexpensive investment. I'm not an affiliate of any of these services, but I am a long-time user of Dashlane.
  • Don't choose a password that could be guessed.
  • Don't write down your password or tell anybody who doesn't need to know.
  • If it is a company document and you take another job, please tell someone the password before you leave !

Please feel free to post any questions you have into the comments below. And before you leave this page, I want to give you one quick little action item! 

ACTION ITEM: Comment below with ONE thing you picked up from this post and share how it has helped, or will help, you. It's good to share your successes because it encourages others and provides an instant boost.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

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About Jason Morrell

About the author

Jason Morrell

Jason loves to simplify the hard stuff, cut the fluff and share what actually works. Things that make a difference. Things that slash hours from your daily work tasks. He runs a software training business in Queensland, Australia, lives on the Gold Coast with his wife and 4 kids and often talks about himself in the third person!


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