Distribute and protect

Remove personal data from files

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Before you share your documents, especially with people outside your organization, remove any personal and confidential information stored in the document or in the document properties.

  1. Open the document that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information.

    Tip: It’s a good idea to inspect a copy of your original document, because it’s not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  2. Select File > Info.

  3. Select Check for Issues > Inspect Document.

  4. Select the types of content that you want to inspect, and then select Inspect.

  5. Review the results.

  6. For each type of content that you want to remove from the document, select Remove All.

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Before you share a file with business partners outside of your organization, clear it of any personal, confidential, or extra information.

First, save a copy of the file so you can remove information from the shared copy but retain the original as is.

With the copy open, select File.

In Info, select Check for Issues, and then select Inspect Document.

Select the types of information you want to check.

Select Inspect.

The Document Inspector displays the results.

Select Remove All next to anything you want to remove: Comments and Annotations, Document Properties, and Custom XML Data.

Office immediately clears that information from the file.

To verify that the information was removed, select Reinspect, and then Inspect.

You see that the information has been cleared.

The file is now ready to share.

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