This article teaches you to use Microsoft Word tools to ensure your content security. You can lock the Word document and restrict permissions with a few options to protect your content. The screenshots below apply to the Microsoft Word 2010 version of Windows users, and if you're a Mac user, don't worry, most of the actions apply to the Mac as well.

How to password protect Word documents-UFASK

Protection document

Click the file in the Word document to take you to the information screen. Here's a toolset called Protect Documents, which provides a drop-down menu with three options for adding multiple password protection to the document.

How to password protect Word documents-UFASK

Mark as Final

This button is only used for Microsoft Office 2010 version in Windows. Selecting Mark as Final notifies any user who opens the document and protects it as read-only, and does not allow any editing. It will also hide editing marks, revisions, or annotations. A banner will be displayed at the top of the document to inform the reader state. This option is insecure because it still allows the reader to click Edit and change the document.

How to password protect Word documents-UFASK

Encrypt with Password

The second option in the list of protected documents is encrypted with passwords. You can click this option to open the Encrypted Documents window, which allows you to create a password for the document.

How to password protect Word documents-UFASK
  • Word for Mac 2011 users: Word > Preferences > Personal Settings > Security > Password to Open.
  • Word for Mac 2016 and Office 365 for Mac users: Review > Protect Document > Security.

If you have forgotten the password, you will not be able to open the document because it is not recoverable. When you set the password, you will be prompted to enter it twice, just to let you remember your password.

Restrict Editing

If you have chosen "restrict editing", you can only click on the allowed option. If you are a Mac user, you can access this option through the Review tab in the Protection Toolbox.

How to password protect Word documents-UFASK
  • Word for Mac 2011: Word > Preferences > Personal Settings > Security > Password to Modify.
  • Word for Mac 2016 and Office 365: Review > Protect Document.

In the Restricted Edit toolbar of the Windows menu, click the “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection” button, and the changes take effect.