How to Password Protect Word, Excel, and OneNote Docs

While we recommend much more stable and secure methods of securing your data (mostly because corrupt Office files can happen), sometimes a quick password on a Word, Excel, or OneNote document will suffice for your needs. Here’s how you password protect a document in Word, Excel and OneNote for a basic (but encrypted) lock out.

Microsoft Word

Here’s how you password protect a Microsoft Word document.

First, create your super-secret document.

Go up to the “File” menu:

Click on “Info”

Click on “Protect Document” and then click on “Encrypt with Password.”

It will prompt you to type the password twice:

Make sure you’ve saved the password elsewhere, as this is your last chance.

After you’ve confirmed the password, you’ll see that the document protection button has changed to show a password is required:

Going forward, when you open up that document, you’ll be prompted for a password:


Password Protect an Excel Spreadsheet

The process for putting a password on an Excel file is exactly the same as it is on the Word document above. Create the file, File menu, info, Protect Wordbook, Encrypt with Password, and you’re done. But if you need a fancy video to show you how to do it, Microsoft has one here.

Password Protect a OneNote Section of Your Notebook

OneNote allows you to create all sorts of sections to keep notes in. This allows you to password protect just a section of your notebook. Here’s how you do it

Note the screenshots here are for the OneNote Office 365 desktop app, but the process is similar depending on how you access your notes – which hopefully will get less confusing soon.

So create a new section of your notes with your secret information:

Right click on your notebook section and select “Password Protect This Section”.

Click on “Set Password” or “Add Password” (depending on which app you’re using):

Set your password accordingly:

After you close OneNote (or press “Ctrl-Alt-L” to lock the OneNote), you’ll see that the section is now password protected if you click on it and you now have to go through an extra step to open things up:

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