Securing your data in Excel means you can control who can access your Excel file and who cannot. You have the power to give access to your file. Whereas, protecting your data in Excel means limiting the access of the data for the user who can already open the file, that is, who can make changes to your file. In simple words, Security deals with access, and Protection deals with integrity. The below article will discuss how to put password on Excel file.

How to Put A Password on An Excel File

We have already discussed how important it is to protect your data in Excel. We also are done with the two ought-to-be-similar words, that is, Security and Protection. Let us now have a look at the step-by-step guide to know how to put a password on Excel sheet.

As we all know, with time different versions of Excel were introduced to us, each with some new features. And so, to put a password to different versions of Excel have different procedures. First let us discuss how to put a password on an Excel file 2013.

If you have the latest version of Excel, that is 2010/2013/2016, follow below steps.

Step 1: Open the Excel file you wish to set a password for. Now go to File >> Info.

protect workbook option

Step 2: Here you will find Protect Workbook option. Click on it. From the dropdown select Encrypt with Password option. With this, an Encrypt Document window will be displayed.

encrypt password

Step 3: In the Encrypt Document window, you can enter your password and click on Ok. Now confirm your password by re-entering it again. Note that you have to enter the same password you entered before. Now click Ok.

confirm password

Step 4: You have now set a password to your file. To check if you have set it properly, close your file by clicking on the “X” icon on the top right side of the window. If asked, Save Changes and then close the file. Try reopening the file. You’ll be prompted to provide the password.

Note that you remember your password, as you will not be able to access your Excel file without it.

Let us now see the step-wise guide to know how to put a password on an Excel file 2003.

Step 1: Open the Excel file you want to put the password for. Navigate to Tools >> Options.

go to options

Step 2: In the window displayed, find Security tab. Here you will find two options—Password to open and Password to modify.

security tab

Step 3: Before setting the password, go to Advanced. Find “RC4, Microsoft Enhanced RSA, and AES Cryptographic Provider” in the list by scrolling down. The default key length value is 128. Also, check the box before Encrypt document properties. Verify these two things and click on Ok.

Step 4: Now enter the password in the Password Box. You can set any of the passwords — Password to open or Password to modify or both. Remember to set different passwords if you wish to set both of them.

Step 5: Re-enter the password to confirm. Now click Ok.

Step 6: Save the document by clicking Save/Save As. Close the file. Confirm if you have set the password correctly by reopening the file and entering the password.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Lost Excel Password?

Till now, we have seen how to put password on Excel file, but what if you forget your password? Seems a very tricky question, right? We have answers for this too. PassFab for Excel is the best utility to remove your Excel password if forgotten. It gives the helping hand to get back your Excel data with no loss. Follow below steps to remove your Excel password if you've misplaced it and wish to remove it.

Step 1: Download and install PassFab for Excel on your PC. In the main interface, you’ll find Open tab.

Step 2: Using this “Add” option, import your password locked file in the program.

enter and recover excel  password

Step 3: Now select one of the password attack options and click on Start button.

choose password attack type

Step 4: After few minutes, a window saying password is found message will be displayed. Click Ok.

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your forgotten password off your Excel file.


In the above article, we have successfully shown how to put a password on MS Excel file for different versions. Along with it, in case if you forget your password, PassFab for Excel is here for you. Hope all the information provided to you through the article helps you in any possible way to solve your issues. Share your feedback with us by commenting below.