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How to Set Password Protect Excel File/Workbook/Worksheet

In Microsoft Excel, you can set passwords to restrict opening a file or modification of the workbook, a worksheet, or individual elements in the worksheet. This tutorial will show you different levels of protection in Excel, and show you how to lock workbooks/worksheet with password and secure your data against unauthorized access.


How to Protect Entire Excel File with Password

You can set two passwords on Excel file: one to open the file as read-only, and the other to modify (e.g. open as Read-only).

1. Password to open Excel file

In Excel, go to File > Info, select Protect Workbook, and then click Encrypt with Password.

Encrypt Excel file

In the Password box, type a password, and then click OK.

In the Reenter password box, type the password again, and then click OK.

Reenter password

2. Password to modify Excel file

Step 1: In the Excel file, click File > Save As.

Step 2: Click a location, or click Browse to select a location.

Step 3: In Save As dialog, click Tools, select General Options.

General Options

Step 4: In General Options dialog, enter passwords.

Set password to open workbook

Step 5: Once you click OK. You have to enter the passwords again in order to confirm them.

Learn more How to Remove Password to Open/Modify in Excel 2010-2016 File.

Tip: Read-only access does not prevent someone from making changes to a file, but it does prevent them from saving those changes unless they rename the file and save it as something other than the original. Learn more see how to disable read-only in Excel.

Option 2: Enbale Workbook Structure Protection

You can protect the structure of your Excel workbook with a password, so that prevent other users from viewing hidden worksheets, adding, moving, deleting, or hiding worksheets, and renaming worksheets.

Step 1: Click Review > Protect Workbook.

Protect workbook structure

Step 2: Enter a password in the Password box.

Enter password to protect workbook structure

Step 3: Click OK, re-enter the password to confirm it, and then click OK.

When done, right-click on the bottom of a sheet inside your workbook, you will notice that the options to change the workbook structure, such as InsertDeleteRenameMoveCopyHide, and Unhide sheets are all unavailable.

Password protect workbook structure

Option 3: Enable Worksheet Protection

With this option, you can lock the cells on your Excel worksheet and then protect the sheet with a password. So that prevent unwanted changes from others by limiting their ability to edit.

Step 1: Click Review > Protect Worksheet.

Password protect worksheet

Step 2: Enter a password.

In the Allow all users of this worksheet to list, select the elements you want people to be able to change.

Worksheet protection

Step 3: Reenter the password in the Confirm Password dialog box and click OK.

Enter confirm password