Protect an Excel file

To prevent others from accessing data in your Excel files, protect your Excel file with a password.
Note: This topic covers file-level protection only, and not workbook or worksheet protection.
To learn the difference between protecting your Excel file, workbook, or a worksheet, see Protection and security in Excel.

  1. Select File > Info.
  2. Select the Protect Workbook box and choose Encrypt with Password.
  3. Enter a password in the Password box, and then select OK.
  4. Confirm the password in the Reenter Password box, and then select OK.


  • Microsoft cannot retrieve forgotten passwords, so be sure that your password is especially memorable.
  • There are no restrictions on the passwords you use with regards to length, characters or numbers, but passwords are case-sensitive.
  • Its not always secure to distribute password-protected files that contain sensitive information such as credit card numbers.
  • Be cautious when sharing files or passwords with other users. You still run the risk of passwords them falling into the hands of unintended users. Remember that locking a file with a password does not necessarily protect your file from malicious intent.


csv Excel Workbook