If you need to protect a document from being read by third parties, in this manual you will find detailed information on how to set a password for a Word (doc, docx) or Excel (xls, xlsx) file using the built-in Microsoft Office document protection tools.
Separately, they will show ways to set a password for opening a document for the latest versions of Office (for example, Word 2016, 2013, 2010. Similar actions will be in Excel), as well as for older versions of Word and Excel 2007, 2003. Also, for each of the options It shows how to remove the password previously set on the document (provided that you know it, but you no longer need it).
Setting a password for a Word and Excel file 2016, 2013 and 2010
In order to set a password for an Office document file (prohibiting its opening and, accordingly, editing), open the document that you want to protect in Word or Excel.
After that, in the menu bar of the program, select “File” - “Details”, where, depending on the type of document, you will see the option “Document Protection” (in Word) or “Book Protection” (in Excel).
Click on this item and select the menu item “Encrypt with password”, then enter and confirm the password.
Done, it remains to save the document and the next time you open Office, you will be asked to enter a password for this.
In order to remove the document password set in this way, open the file, enter the password to open, and then go to the “File” menu - “Details” - “Document Protection” - “Encrypt with Password”, but this time enter a blank password (i.e. delete the contents of the field to enter it). Save the document.
Note: files encrypted in Office 365, 2013 and 2016 do not open in Office 2007 (and possibly 2010, there is no way to verify).
Password Protecting a Document in Office 2007
In Word 2007 (as well as in other Office applications), you can set a password for a document through the main menu of the program, by clicking on the round button with the Office logo, and then selecting “Prepare” - “Encrypt document”.
Further installation of the password on the file, as well as its removal, is performed in the same way as in newer versions of Office (to remove it, simply delete the password, apply the changes and save the document in the same menu item).
Password for a Word 2003 document (and other Office 2003 documents)
To set a password for Word and Excel documents edited in Office 2003, select "Tools" - "Options" in the main menu of the program.
After that, go to the "Security" tab and set the necessary passwords - to open the file, or if you need to allow opening, but prohibit editing - the password for recording permission.
Apply the settings, confirm the password and save the document, in the future it will require a password to open or change.
Is it possible to crack the document password set in this way? It is possible, however, for modern versions of Office when using the docx and xlsx formats, as well as a complex password (8 or more characters, not only letters and numbers), this is very problematic (since in this case the task is performed by brute force, which on ordinary computers takes a very long time, calculated in days).