How to encrypt a Word file: Do you have to send some Word documents via email but don’t want to take the risk that someone will discover the contents without having permission? How about protecting them with a password then ? No, you don’t have to install any particular program, promised!
To be able to encrypt a Word file , all you have to do is take advantage of the special function included in the famous Microsoft home program or, if this is not available, by contacting some free solutions to download for free on computers, smartphones and tablets . Are you interested in this? Yup? So, to find out more, read on: find all the information you need right below!
Just a little clarification before starting: I made the guide using Office 2019 for Windows and macOS which, at the time of writing, is the most recent version of the Microsoft suite. In any case, the indications in the article should also be valid for older editions of the same (and, therefore, of Word). That said, the ban to ban: let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work immediately!
How to encrypt a Word file on Windows
If you want to learn how to encrypt a Word file and use the Windows operating system , open the document you want to protect with a password (or create a new one) and click on the File button located at the top left of the Word window.
In the screen that opens, select the item Information from the left sidebar, click the Protect document button and select the word Encrypt with password from the menu that appears.
At this point, all you have to do is type the keyword with which to encrypt the file in the appropriate text field and click the OK button , to save the settings. Then repeat the operation a second time (in the window that opens) and you’re done. Finally, save your document: every time someone tries to open it, they will be asked to enter their password.
If you do not want to prohibit the display of the file but only prevent it from being modified by unauthorized users, you can set a limited protection password for this purpose only. Just select the Restrict change item from the Protect Word document menu , put the check mark next to the item Allow only this type of changes in the document or next to the item Restriction on changes (in the sidebar that appears on the right) and select the option No changes (read only) from the drop down menu below.
You then have to click on the Apply protection button and type the keyword to unlock the changes in the file. Simpler than that?
In case of second thoughts, to remove the password from a previously protected Word document, all you have to do is open the latter (by typing the appropriate keyword), go to the File> Information menu , click on the Protect document button , select the wording Encrypt with password from the screen that appears and delete the password currently set for accessing the file.
The same goes, of course, even if you want to remove the password against changes: you must select the Restrict change item from the Protect document menu and remove the check from the option for restrictions on changes.
How to encrypt a Word file on Mac
If you use a Mac , you can encrypt a file with Word following a simple procedure like the one just seen together for Windows systems. All you have to do is open the document to be protected (or create a new one) and select the Protect document item from the Tools menu (above).
In the window that opens, type the password you want to use to prohibit unauthorized access to the file in the field Set a password to open the document . Click, then, on the OK button , repeat the password and click OK again , to save the settings.
If you do not want to prohibit the opening of the document but only its modification, enter a password in the field Set a password for editing the document leaving the field Set a password for opening the document empty , press OK , type the password again and confirm, so as to save the settings.
You can also disable document protection for revisions , comments , read-only mode or forms , by ticking the relevant boxes (together with the Do not apply protection to , necessary to take advantage of these options).
If, on the other hand, you want to retrace your steps and remove the password to a previously protected document, open the latter in Word , go to the Tools> Protect document menu , delete the password in the field displayed on the screen and give OK .
How to encrypt a Word file with LibreOffice
If, for one reason or another, you cannot install Word on your computer, you can turn to LibreOffice : a free, open source and cross-platform productivity suite (available for Windows, macOS and Linux) that is compatible with all files Microsoft Office and includes programs to process texts, presentations, spreadsheets, databases and printable content. Among its many functions, of course, there is also the one to protect Word documents with passwords.
To get LibreOffice, connected to the program’s website and click the button Download the xxx version . If you use a Mac, also click on the translated User Interface button , in order to download the Italian translation for LibreOffice (instead included “standard” in the Windows version of the program).
When the download is complete, if you are using Windows , open the obtained .msi file and click first on the Next button twice in succession and then on Install , Yes and Finish , to complete the setup.
If you are using a Mac , however, to install LibreOffice, you need to open the .dmg package you got, drag LibreOffice to the Applications folder of the Mac and start the suite, right-clicking on its icon and selecting the Open option twice in a row . At this point, close the software completely, using the key combination cmd + q , and open the .dmg package with the Italian translation files .
Next, right-click on the LibreOffice Language Pack executable present in the window that appeared on the screen and select the Open option twice in a row. Press, then on the Install button , select the /Applications/LibreOffice.app item from the next window and press the Install button again . If you see a warning about permissions appear, press Yes, identify me , type the Mac administration password and click the OK button , twice in a row, to complete the setup.
Once the installation is complete, regardless of the operating system in use, you just have to start LibreOffice and click on the Open file button , to open an existing document, or on the Document Writer button , to create a new one.
Then, go to the File> Save As menu (top left) and, in the window that opens, select the Save with password option . Then type the password you want to use to protect the file in the fields Enter the password for opening and Confirm password and press the OK button to confirm.
If you want to make the file open for reading only (therefore it cannot be modified), expand the Options section , tick the Open the file for reading only box , type the password you want to assign to the document in the fields Enter the password to change and Confirm password and press the OK button to confirm. You can choose to save the file both in Word DOCX format and in OpenDocument (ODT) , the LibreOffice and OpenOffice format.
In case of second thoughts, you can remove the password from a previously protected document by simply opening it with LibreOffice (then entering the relative access key) and saving it as a new file, obviously without checking the Save with password box .
How to encrypt a Word file on smartphones and tablets
At the moment you don’t have a PC at hand and, therefore, would you like to know if it is possible to encrypt a Word file from a smartphone or tablet ? The answer is yes, but only if you turn to third-party solutions.
The official Word application, which is available for free for Android and iOS devices with a size equal to or less than 10.1 “, does not support the encryption of documents with a password. This function, however, is available in alternative applications made by companies other than Microsoft. Which ones? Read on and find out!
If you use an Android terminal , you can encrypt a Word file with WPS Office , productivity suite, free basic (with extra functions, including the conversion between various file formats, advanced PDF editing and the removal of advertising banners , to be unlocked through a subscription of 4.29 euros / month or 31.99 euros / year) available as an app for the green robot system (and not only).
To take advantage of it, download the application from the Play Store, launch it and press the Open file item , to open the document to which you intend to apply the password (from local storage or from supported cloud services, such as Google Drive ). Alternatively, select the items (+)> New document to create a new file.
At this point, press the icon with the four squares located at the bottom left, select the File tab from the menu that appears at the bottom, move the lever relating to the Encryption option (bottom) to ON and type the password you want use to protect your document in the fields shown on the screen.
Once this is done, press the OK button (bottom right), then the floppy disk icon (top left) and save the protected file.
In case of second thoughts, to remove the password from a previously protected document, open the latter in WPS Office, type the unlock password and deactivate the lever from the Document encryption option . Easier than that?
If you use an iPhone or iPad , you can count on Pages , the mobile version of the famous Apple word processing software included “standard” on all devices of the “bitten apple” and available at no cost on the App Store.
To encrypt a file with Pages, all you have to do is open it inside the app (after uploading it to iCloud Drive or another supported cloud storage service), press the button … located at the top right and select the Set item password from the menu that opens.
In the next screen, type the password you want to use to protect the document in the Password and Verify fields , choose whether to allow the unlocking of the file via Face ID / Touch ID by moving the appropriate lever to ON or OFF and press the Finish item (in top right), to save the changes.
Subsequently, in case of second thoughts, you can remove the password from a previously protected document by pressing the … button , going to Change password and deactivating the lever relating to the Request password option .