University Systems help center

Encrypt Word files using Microsoft Word 2007 or newer

Microsoft Word 2007 (or newer) can encrypt documents.  This function does not simply passphrase-protect a file, but it encrypts it 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:

    Encrypt Word 1

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

    Encrypt Word 2

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

    Encrypt Word 3

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

    Encrypt Word 4

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

    Encrypt Word 5

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

    File Encrypt Word 6