University Systems help center

Encrypt Word files using Microsoft Word 2007 or newer

Microsoft Word 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.

  1. With your document open, select the File tab.
    Encrypt Word 1
  2. Click Info and then select Protect Document.
    Encrypt Word 2
  3. From the "Protect Document" pull-down tab, select Encrypt with passphrase.
    Encrypt Word 3
  4. From the "Encrypt Document" dialogue box you are now prompted to enter a passphrase.  It is recommended that you use a strong password or passphrase.  Once finished, click OK.
    Encrypt Word 4
  5. You are now prompted to confirm your passphrase by reentering it.  Once finished, click OK.
    Encrypt Word 5
  6. The "Protect Document" icon is now highlighted in yellow with a message stating that a passphrase is now required to open the document.
    File Encrypt Word 6