University Systems help centre

Encrypt files using Microsoft Excel 2007 or newer

Microsoft Excel 2007 (or newer) encrypts information using a "Protect" function.  This function does not simply passphrase-protect a file, but it encrypts is using AES encryption. Office 2016 was used for the instructions below. With the older versions the menus might be different.

  1. With your document open, select the File tab.

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  2. Click Save As, then choose a location to save your document.

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  3. Click on Tools, then select General Options… from the drop down menu.

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  4. Enter your desired passphrase in the "Password to open" field.
    It is recommended that you choose a strong passphrase. Once finished, click OK

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  5. You are now prompted to confirm your passphrase by reentering it.  Once finished, click OK.

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  6. Now save your document to finish the setup.
    As the file is now encrypted, the passphrase will be required to open it.

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