File level encryption of Microsoft Office files

Background Information 

Microsoft Office contains functionality to add encryption to individual files created in Microsoft Word and Excel so they can be protected during transmission or for storage. File level encryption should only be used in situations when full-disk encryption is not possible. 

Please note - It is not possible to recover passwords for files that have been lost or forgotten. 

Specific Instructions

PC / Microsoft Windows

  • Open the document or file you wish to protect.
  • Click File and Select Info. 
  • Click Protect Document  and select Encrypt with password.
  • Enter a password and click OK.
  • Re-enter your password and click OK. 

Information box displayed with Protect Document and Encrypt Document highlighted.


Apple / MacOS 

  • Open the document or file you wish to protect. 
  • Click the Tools menu and select Protect Document. 
  • Enter a password in the "Set a password to open this document" box. 
  • Click OK.
  • Re-enter your password and click OK. 

The password protect dialog box with set password to open highlighted


  • Students
  • Staff
  • Faculty
  • Alumni
  • Retirees
  • Professor Emeriti

Last updated

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 14:02