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How to Make a Word Document Read Only with/without Password

If you don’t want the contents of a Word document to be accidently modified by others, the most straightforward method is to make the document read only. Now this page will take Microsoft Word 2016 as an example to show how to make a Word document read only. There are two ways shown as below.


Way 1: Make a Word 2016 document read only with password

To use password to make a Word document read only, there are two options.

Option One:

Step 1: Open the Word document.

Step 2: Click File -> Save as, and select one location where you will save this document.

Step 3: In the Save As dialog, click the drop-down arrow next to the Tools button and then select General Options.

Step 4: In the General Options dialog, check the box next to Read-only recommended, and type a password to modify. Reenter the password to modify and click OK.

enter password to modify

Step 5: When you are back in the Save As dialog, click Save to save this Word 2016 document and make it read only.

Then all users of this Word document will be asked to enter the password to modify when trying to open the document. If without password, the Word document only can open in read only mode. And to keep changes you make you need to save this document with a new name or in a different location.

Option Two:

Step 1: Open the Word document.

Step 2: Select the Review tab and click Protect -> Restrict Editing.

click Protect and Restrict Editing

Step 3: After the Restrict Editing panel appears, check the box under Formatting restrictions and Editing restrictions, depending on your own needs. Then click on Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.

Click on Yes, Start Enforcing Protection

Step 4: In the Start Enforcing Protection dialog, select Password as Protection method, and type a password. Then click OK.

Type password protection

Step 5: Press Save + S to save the changes and make the Word document read only. Then all users of this Word document won’t be able to edit the contents or change its formats before you stop protection on this Word document 2016.

Way 2: Make a Word 2016 document read only without password

There are also two options.

Option One:

Step 1: Open the Word document.

Step 2: Select File -> Info tab, and then click Protect Document -> Mark as Final.

Step 3: Click OK when prompt with the alert shown as below.

Click OK

Then this Word 2016 document is marked as Read-Only. When it is opened, a "MARKED AS FINAL" alert message will appear at the top to discourage editing. However, if the user clicks on Edit Anyway at the end of the alert message, he will be able to modify the Word document.

Word document is marked as Read-Only

Option Two:

Step 1: Close the Word document.

Step 2: Right click on the document, and select Properties.

Right click on Word document and select Properties

Step 3: In the Properties dialog, select the General tab, check the box next to Read-only, and then click Apply followed by OK.

Check Read-only

By this way, the Word 2016 document is also marked as Read-Only. You can edit the contents, but the changes you make won’t be saved in the original document. To save the changes, you need to save the Word document with a new name or in a different location.