How to password protect an Excel file?

When you share one Excel spreadsheet with multiple users, you may don’t want the spreadsheet to be modified arbitrarily by unauthorized persons. If you wish to restrict access to an Excel workbook or if you wish to deny editing privileges to other users, consider adding a password to the workbook as a security measure.

Excel allows users to encrypt and password-protect workbooks. 

You can protect your Excel file with a password to prevent others from accessing data in your Excel files. There are two different ways you can protect an Excel file — using encryption and the setting a password to open/modify an Excel file.

Excel Power Users Ebook

Be Smart at Excel | New Skills for New JOB

This eBook will help you to get Excel Skills & Boost your career

When you encrypt an Excel file, you lock it with a password. Once you encrypt an Excel file, no one else will be able to open it. This is the most common and recommended technique to lock an Excel file.

Now let’s see How to password protect an Excel file by following steps.

Become a "Hero at Office"• 200+ Video Lessons • Real-life Case studies • Lifetime Access

File option in Excel

Step 1: Click File Tab.
How to protect password in Excel File

Step 2: Click Info.
How to password protect in Excel File-Protect Workbook

Step 3: Click Protect Workbook.
How to Encrypt Password in Excel

Step 4: A drop down list will be appear. Select Encrypt with Password.
How to Encrypt Document in Excel using Password

Step 5: Encrypt Document Dialog box will appear. Enter the Password. Click OK.
Encrypt the content in this file using password

Step 6: Again in the Confirm Password dialog box, re-enter the password you entered in the previous step.How to insert password in Excel

Step 7: Save your excel file and Close it. Now You have Successfully created a password for your Excel File. Reopen that excel file. Now you will see that you need to enter that password to open that excel file as like above picture.
How to save as protect file in Excel

Tips: Now we are going to set a password to allow reading or modifying another users.

Step 8: In the Excel file, click File tab. Then click Save As. Now click Browse to browse a directory for Save this file.
How to use general option in Excel while save as

Step 9: In the Save As dialog box, go to the folder you want to use, then click Tools and then click General Options.
General Options dialog box will be appear

Step 10: Now General Options dialog box will appear. You can specify one or both passwords here. One to open the file, another to modify the file, depending on your requirements.
Reenter your password into Confirm Password Dialog box that you added for modify purpose

Step 11: Now Click OK and Reenter your password into Confirm Password Dialog box that you added for modify purpose. Click OK, then Save.

From Now when Someone will open this Excel file, it will ask for password 2 times. One for open file and another one is to modify file.

Now your Excel file is fully protected both for open and modify.


  • Be cautious when sharing files or passwords with other users.
  • Remember that locking a file with a password does not necessarily protect your file from malicious intent.
  • Microsoft can’t retrieve forgotten passwords.
  • There are no restrictions on the passwords you use with regards to length, characters or numbers, but passwords are case-sensitive.
  • It’s not always secure to distribute password-protected files that contain sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

Enjoy Excel..!!