In many organizations, it is still a norm to use Microsoft Excel to analyze and store data. This is because it is easy to use and many features are provided to analyze data easily and quickly. Excel provides you some easy security options to protect your Excel sheet if you have important data stored in your worksheet. If you are using Microsoft Office 2016 and have some important data to protect from alterations or prevent data from losing in Microsoft Excel 2016, password protecting your file is the best way. With a password to protect your file, you do not have to worry much about someone to access your data in Excel files. In this article, we are going to talk about how to pasword protect Excel 2016 spreadsheet.
So how to protect your Excel 2016 file? Some simple methods are given below and you can try any of them to protect your Microsoft Excel worksheet from spying eyes.
- Method 1: Protect Excel 2016 with Open Password
- Method 2: Protect Excel 2016 via Modify Password
- Method 3: Protect Excel 2016 with Read Only Password
- Method 4: Protect Excel 2016 using Workbook Structure Password
- Method 5: Protect Excel 2016 through Sheet Password
Method 1: Protect Excel 2016 with Open Password
If you do not want to share the Excel file with anyone and have personal information which you do not want other to see, then the most common method is to protect an Excel file by encrypting it with a Password. With this method you will password protect Excel 2016 file and no other person will be able to open it and see the contents unless he/she knows the password. To protect an Excel 2016 with open password, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Open the Excel file which you want to protect with password. Click on File.
Step 2: Select Info. Now in the Left panel click on Protect Workbook and in the dropdown menu select the Encrypt with Password option.
Step 3: Now enter password and click OK. Reenter the password in Confirm Password dialogue box and click OK to set the password.
Step 4: Now anyone who will try to open the file will first have to enter the password.
Method 2: Protect Excel 2016 via Modify Password
If you only want to give user the privilege to see the contents, you can use this Modify Password method for Excel 2016 password. With this you restrict the other person from modifying the contents of the file but he will be able to open the file in Read Only mode. This method is better where the owner wants to share the Excel file but does not want anyone to modify in file. To protect Excel 2016 via Modify Password, follow the below steps.
Step 1: Click on the File and then click on Save As. Select the folder where you want you save the file, such as This PC > Downloads.
Step 2: In the Save As dialogue box, click on Tools > General Options.
Step 3: Now enter the Password to modify and click OK. In General Options dialogue box you can also enter the Password to open which will require password when file is opened (optional). In Confirm Password dialogue box Reenter Password to modify and click OK to confirm.
Step 4: Save the File and your Excel file is protected with Modify Password.
Now when another person will open the file he will have to enter the password to modify or write in the file. Otherwise he can open the file in Read Only mode.
Method 3: Protect Excel 2016 with Read Only Password
This method provides the owner to password Excel 2016 with Read Only password. Read Only access does not restrict another person for making change to file, but one cannot save the file if he/she had modified in the file unless saved with different name. This method is better if the file is available to other people in shared location and owner does not want to keep the original file same. To protect Excel 2016 with Read Only Password, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Click on the File > Save As. Select the folder where you want you save the file, such as This PC > Downloads.
Step 2: In the Save As dialogue box, click on Tools > General Options.
Step 3: In General Options dialogue box, enter Password to open (optional) and check the Read-only recommended option and click OK.
Step 4: Save the File and your Excel file is protected with Read-only Password.
If someone opens the file, he will be notified that Excel workbook is opened as read-only.
And if he made some changes in file, he has to save it with a new name or in different location.
Method 4: Protect Excel 2016 using Workbook Structure Password
To protect the Excel workbook is different than protecting Excel file. With this Excel 2016 password protect method you can prevent users from viewing hidden worksheets or moving, deleting, adding, hiding, renaming the worksheets. In short you can password protect Excel 2016 workbook structure. This security measure is better when you are a team leader and you want to protect worksheets in Excel workbook from other members. To protect Excel 2016 using Workbook Structure Password, follow the below steps.
Step 1: Open the Excel file.
Step 2: Click on Review and then on Protect Workbook.
Step 3: Check the Structure if unchecked, enter the Password and click OK. Reenter password and click OK.
Now your Excel workbook is protected with the Structure password.
Method 5: Protect Excel 2016 through Sheet Password
This security feature of Excel 2016 is different from Excel file and Excel workbook security. When you search how to password protect Excel 2016 workbook with Sheet password, you are actually restricting the other users to accidently or intentionally changing, moving or delete data in a worksheet that is you can lock the cells in your Excel worksheet and protect it with password. This works when you don’t want other team members to modify or add data in specific cells of worksheet. To protect Excel 2016 through Sheet Password, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Click on Review and then on Protect Sheet.
Step 2: Enter the Password to unprotect sheet and select the function allowed to users of the worksheet and click OK.
Step 3: Reenter the password in Confirm Password and click OK.
Now if anyone wants to edit the cells in the worksheet has to unprotect it with the password first.
Bonus Tip: How to Unlock Password Protected Excel 2016 File
If you have forgotten or lost he password for your Excel 2016 file, you do not have to worry because you can easily recover the password using PassFab for Excel software. This tool is a solution to many problems. You can use it when you forget MS Excel file password, lose MS Excel document password, want to read contents in password protected Excel files or Your Excel Spreadsheet password doesn't work. It provides three attack options to recover the password which are:
- Brute-force with Mask Attack: Set the possible password length and character settings first in order to recover the target password with less time.
- Brute-force Attack: Try all possible combinations of characters and symbols to find MS Excel password.
- Dictionary Attack: Recover the lost Excel password by trying the password combinations in the built-in or self-created dictionary.
So how to recover forgotten or lost Excel 2016 password with this powerful Excel password recovery? Here is the guide to recover the Excel 2016 password.
Step 1: Open the Excel Password Recovery tool, click on Add to import the Excel file whose password you want to recover.
Step 2: Now select the Attack type and set parameters accordingly. There are three types of attacks which are Brute-force Attack, Brute-force with Mask and Dictionary.
Step 3:Click on Start to recover the password.
Step 4: When the process will complete the recovered password will show in the dialogue box.
So above are the 5 methods to protect your Excel 2016 from intruders. When you protect your Excel file with password, you have to remember it otherwise you may lose your important data because Microsoft cannot retrieve the forgotten password for you. Also there is no restrictions on password strength with respect to length, characters or numbers. The Microsoft Excel passwords are case sensitive. you should be cautious to share files even they are password protected because protecting your file with password does not mean that it is protected from malicious hands.