Password protect a workbook

Excel Online can’t open or edit workbooks protected by a password. In fact, passwords can’t be added, changed, removed, or recovered from Excel Online.

If you try to open a password protected workbook, you’ll see a message like this:

Dialog box when you open a password-protected workbook in Excel Online

If you want to add a password to a workbook you are working on in Excel Online, and you have Excel desktop application, you can use the Open in Excel button to open the workbook and password protect the workbook. But going forward, you’ll only be able to make changes to the workbook in Excel desktop application.

Button to Edit in Excel

For news about the latest Excel Online updates, visit the Microsoft Excel blog.

For the full suite of Office applications and services, try or buy it at

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Got It
Get instant Excel help
Connect to an expert now
Subject to Got It terms and conditions

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.