Encrypt Your Word Document for Added Security

There is a helpful feature that many people may not know about in Microsoft Word (or any of the other Microsoft Office software). This is the fact that you can encrypt your files. There may be several reasons why you might want to do this, including:

  • Password lists
  • Client/Customer data or notes
  • Personal journal or diary

The steps are fairly simple to follow and this article will teach you how to encrypt your file in a few easy steps. This article is for Microsoft Word 2007 and I am running it on Windows Vista, but the instructions are very similar across platforms for Word 2007.

Step 1: Click on Office Button

This button is located in the upper left corner of your Microsoft Word window. This will open up the office options menu, which includes recent documents as well as many other functions.

Click Office Button
Credit: Screenshot

Step 2: Select Prepare in the Office Options Menu

Scroll down to "Prepare" which will open up another menu of options.

Select prepare
Credit: Screenshot

Step 3: Select Encrypt Document

Next, simply slide your pointer to the right and click on "Encrypt Document."

Select Encrypt Document
Credit: Screenshot

Step 4: Select Password

Here is where you type in your password. It is important to note that if you forget this password, you will not be able to open this document again. So be sure that it is a password you will remember. You will be asked to confirm the password by entering it again, which gives you a chance to double check that it is the password you want.

Select password
Credit: Screenshot

Additional Tips

At this point, your document is encrypted. When you next open the document, it will ask you for a password. One thing I find helpful when encrypting documents is to save immediately after I encrypt it. Then I close it and open it to check that the encryption worked properly.

Below is an image of the dialog box that asks for your password when you open up your encrypted document.

Password check
Credit: Screenshot


This article taught you how to encrypt a Microsoft Word document. With the increase of internet hackers and the amount of sensitive data that you may have on your computer, it is important to consider the vulnerability of your documents and files on your computer.

I hope this article was helpful to you.