How to put a password on a Microsoft Word document ?

Published: July 4, 2022

Last Modified: February 10, 2023

How to put a password on a Microsoft Word document ?

Method 1: Specialized Applications

There are quite a few programs that provide the ability to hide folders and files, as well as protect them by setting a code combination. Let’s use one of them to solve our today’s problem.

Download Wise Folder Hider

    1. Download the application from the official website using the link above. Install it on your computer and run it. Think up and enter a password twice, which will be used to protect Wise Folder Hider itself.

      Important! In the future, the specified combination will need to be entered each time the program is started. If you accidentally forget it, you will have to reinstall Wise Folder Hider to gain access to protected files and folders.

    2. In the main window, go to the “Encrypt file” tab and click on the “Create” button located at the bottom .
  • Define the parameters of the created file, which in fact will be a virtual disk for storing data. Give it a name, specify a location folder, select a size (in the free version – no more than 50 MB, but this is more than enough for a text document), then click “Create” .

 

  • After a few seconds, the created virtual file will appear in the program window, in parallel with this , its location will be opened in Explorer . It is in this directory that you should place the Word document that you want to protect with a password. Copy and paste it here or move it from the original folder.

 

  • Next, in the “Operation” column, click on the downward pointing triangle to bring up the drop-down list, and select “Set password” .

 

  • Enter the code expression twice that you want to use to protect the Word text file and the virtual disk containing it. Click “OK” to confirm,

    and then again to “Set password” .

  • In the future, you can open the folder created using Wise Folder Hider through “This computer” , where it is displayed as one of the drives.

    If the disk is not in this list, it will need to be added through the interface of the program itself. In the column already familiar to us “Operation” , you should click on the button “Mount” , enter the password set in the previous step and click “OK” to confirm. Pressing the button again (when it ‘s called Unmount ) will hide the drive from Explorer .

As mentioned above, the Wise Folder Hider we reviewed is far from the only software tool for setting a protective combination on folders and files. In addition, most of them provide another option for solving our today’s problem – instead of encrypting a file and creating a virtual disk, you can place the data that needs protection in a separate directory and put a password on it.

Method 2: Archivers

Most data compression applications come with a number of additional features, often including password protection. Consider how this is done in one of the most popular archivers.

Download WinRAR

    1. If the application in question is not already installed on your computer, please do so using the link above.
    2. Navigate to the folder containing the Microsoft Word text document for which you want to set a password. Right-click on it (RMB) and select “Add to archive” , next to which there is an archiver icon.
  • In the window that opens, give the archive the desired name and click on the “Set password” button .
  • Enter the code combination you want to use to protect the file twice. If you wish, you can check the box next to Encrypt file names . Once done, click “OK” to confirm.
  • Next, click “OK” in the main WinRAR interface to initiate the data compression procedure.

 

Once the archive is created and placed in the same location as the original Word file, the latter can be deleted (but it’s better to just move it to a safe place, for example, to an external drive). Now, to open it, you will need to unpack the archive, the password for which is known only to you.

If for some reason the application we have reviewed does not suit you, you can use one of its analogues. As mentioned above, most of them provide a similar opportunity.

Method 3: Standard Word Tools

You can also set a password for a Microsoft Word text document using the tools available in the program itself. Moreover, this problem has as many as three solutions.

Option 1: Restrict editing

First of all, let’s look at a protection method that will be useful when working together on Word documents. By setting the code expression in this way, it is possible to restrict the ability to edit even for those users who have rights to open the file.

    1. Open the Word document that you want to put a password on and go to the “Review” tab .
  • Click on the “Protect” button located on the ribbon and select the “Restrict Editing” option .

 

  • A panel will appear on the right in the editor window, in which you can limit the editing options for the document.
      • So, it is possible to set “Formatting restrictions” , for which you need to click on the link “Parameters” , and then in the window that opens, determine them by selecting the allowed styles or, conversely, turning them off. A little further down, three additional options can be defined. Press “OK” to confirm .

        If a text document contains formatting styles that you have disabled in their settings window, a notification will appear. Provided that they are not required, click “Yes” , but if they are needed, click “No” and exclude them from the list of restrictions.

  • The next option is “Allow only the specified way to edit the document” , which means you can define what actions will be available to other users. The following options are provided:
    • “Recording corrections” ;
    • “Notes” ;
    • “Entering data into form fields” ;
    • “Read Only” .

    The last paragraph sets the most stringent restrictions. Below, in the “Groups” block , it is determined which users they will apply to.

  • The last thing you can do is “Enable protection” , that is, set a password, without specifying which the restrictions set in the previous steps cannot be bypassed. To do this, click on the button “Yes, enable protection” ,

    and then enter the password twice and click “OK” to confirm.

    Important! If you forget the code expression set to open a file or edit it, you will not be able to restore access to it. Therefore, we recommend that you keep an unprotected copy of a text document in a safe place.

Now, if someone opens a document with editing restrictions set, depending on their settings, the text editor toolbar will be partially or completely disabled. Therefore, changes cannot be made.

In order to access the possibility of full-fledged work with it, you should use the items already familiar to us from the second step of this instruction in the “Reviewing” tab ” Protect” – “Restrict editing” , then in the sidebar that appears, click on the button “Disable protection” , enter the password and click “OK” to confirm.

Setting a password using Word review tools allows you to determine the file protection parameters as accurately as possible, but is not suitable for all cases.

Option 2: Document protection

Another method of setting a password for a Word file is to refer to the “Details” section of a text editor. It is implemented as follows:

    1. Open the “File” menu and go to the “Details” section .
  • Click on the “Protect Document” button to expand the menu of available actions and select the one that suits you best. The optimal solution to our problem is “Encrypt using a password” .
  • In the Encrypt Document dialog box , double-type the passcode you want to set,

    and click OK to apply the protection.

    The presence of such can be verified by the corresponding inscription in the “Information” section and the yellowish highlight of the section in which we performed the necessary manipulations.

From now on, to open a Word text document, you will need to enter the password you set.

If you wish, you can use other options available by clicking the “Protect Document” button – for example, “Restrict Editing” allows you to achieve a result that is almost similar to what we considered in the previous part of the article.

Option 3: Save Options

You can protect a Word file not only through the program menu, but also during its final (or intermediate) saving. The algorithm of actions is as follows:

    1. Call the menu “File” and use the item “Save as …” .
  • Specify the desired location for the document, if necessary, give it a name, then in the system explorer window, expand the menu of the “Tools” button and select “General Options” .
  • Think up and enter “password to open the file” or “write permission password” . The first is preferable in cases where you need to protect the file from any outside interference, the second – if you need to leave the ability to edit the content available for those with whom you are collaborating or planning to work on the document (they will need to pass a code expression). Click OK to confirm and close the window .

    Note: In this window, you can “Recommend read-only access” , confirming this action by pressing the button “Set protection” . Note that this will not provide the proper level of protection, just by default the text document will be opened in read- only mode , which is easy to disable.

    The last thing to do is click on the “Save” button in the “Explorer” window .

 

As you can see, Microsoft Word itself provides much broader and, importantly, flexible options for protecting text documents with a password than third-party applications.

Removing protection from a document

As we noted at the beginning of this article, if the password you set is forgotten, you will not be able to open and/or edit the Word file. However, in some cases, it is still possible to restore access. So, if protection was set by means of the text editor itself, you should try to find the secret combination in the document code. If this does not help, you will need to turn to more complex methods that involve changing the format and then working with it or using specialized applications. Note that the latter are not only paid, but far from always cope with the solution of this problem. We previously wrote more about all the available ways to remove a password in a separate article.

Now you know how to put a password on a Word document. Despite the fact that this can be done using highly specialized applications and archivers, originally designed for completely different purposes, we recommend that you limit yourself to using the standard features of a text editor.

 

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