Distribute workbooks

Password-protect workbooks

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Protect a workbook with a password to prevent others from adding, moving, deleting, hiding, or renaming the worksheets in the workbook.

Require a password to open an Excel file
  1. Select File > Save As, or press F12.

  2. In the Save As box, select Tools, and then select General Options.

  3. Enter a password in the Password to open box, and then select OK.

  4. Re-enter the password in the Confirm Password box, and then select OK.

  5. Select Save, and then select Yes If you wish to replace the existing file.

Require a password to modify an Excel file
  1. Select File > Save As, or press F12.

  2. In the Save As box, select Tools, and then select General Options.

  3. Enter password in the Password to modify box, and then select OK.

  4. Re-enter the password in the Confirm Password box, and then select OK.

  5. Select Save, and then select Yes If you wish to replace the existing file.

Require separate passwords to open and modify an Excel file.
  1. Select File > Save As, or press F12.

  2. In the Save As box, select Tools, and then select General Options.

  3. Enter different passwords in the Password to modify and Password to open boxes, and then select OK.

  4. In the Confirm Password box, re-enter the password in the Reenter password to proceed field and then select OK.

  5. In the Confirm Password box, re-enter the password in the Reenter password to modify field and then select OK.

  6. Select Save, and then select Yes If you wish to replace the existing file.

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Protect a Workbook

Protection and security in Excel

We only want certain people in our organization to be able to open this file from now on.

They can make changes to it, that's not the issue.

We simply want to restrict who can open this file.

It's stored in a folder where people have access to other files, and some of those might be protected in a similar way.

So, we want to put a password protection on this file.

When we go to the command File > Save As, and by the way, the keystroke shortcut for that is the F12 key.

Go to This PC in this example here.

Now, depending upon which version of Windows you're using, your screen is likely to look something like this.

And near the Save and Cancel buttons in the lower right hand corner, you'll see an option, Tools.

Drop arrow, General Options. Now, there are essentially three major scenarios here.

We could put a password to open and not to modify.

Meaning, only certain people can open this, whoever can open it, can modify it.

A second scenario would be something along the lines of well, anybody in our group can open this, anybody who has access to that folder can open this, but only some can modify it.

And the third option might be passwords for both of these.

Only some people can open this, and of those who can open this file, only some of them can modify this.

So I'm going to provide a password to open here.

And possibly I can also check this box, Read-only recommended.

Maybe a lot of the people who open this don't have a need to modify it, but it certainly wouldn't hurt, or they might have the occasional use to do that.

If we choose, Read-only recommended, there will be a prompt reminding users that they can choose that option. For the moment, I'll leave it off. So, click OK.

Remember, password to open but none to modify.

We have to reenter the password again, click OK.

We'll save the file. Replacing previous version of it. And let's say we close the file.

We can do that pretty quickly with Ctrl + W. Okay, the file's closed.

At a later time, someone else is opening this.

We can go to, file open or Ctrl + O. If it's in our recent files list, it is right here.

I'll just click it this way. We're opening the file and there's a prompt.

We need the password. If I don't know the password, can't do much here. I do know it, OK.

The file is open.

I can make changes to it.

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