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Password Protect (Encrypt) an Excel Spreadsheet File

Applies to all Excel templates including: "Georges Budget for Excel", "Georges Excel Checkbook Register", "Georges Excel Checkbook for Mac"

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Why Password Protect an Excel file?

Encrypting an Excel file locks the Excel file with a password. After encrypting an Excel file, the Excel file requires a password to open it and view its contents. You can protect an Excel file by requiring a password to be entered when opening the Excel file. The Excel templates that are available on BuyExcelTemplates.com, including the Excel checkbook registers, budget spreadsheets, and Excel calendars, do not require a password to open the Excel file. However, you have the option of creating your own password protected Excel file if you want.

How to Protect an Excel file

There are two ways to password protect and encrypt an Excel file.

1) Encrypt an Excel file (This locks the Excel file with a password)

  • In Excel 2007, to encrypt and password protect an Excel file, click the round Office Button in the top left corner of Excel and then click Prepare and then click Encrypt Document. In the window that opens up, enter a password and then click OK. In the next window that opens up, confirm the password and then click OK. Then save the Excel file (this will save the password to open encryption that you added). Then next time you open the Excel file, it will prompt you for the password to open the Excel file and see its contents.
  • In Excel 2010, Excel 2013, and Excel 2016, to encrypt and password protect an Excel file, click the File tab in the Excel Ribbon, then click Info, then click Protect Workbook, then click Encrypt with Password. In the window that opens up, enter a password and then click OK. In the next window that opens up, confirm the password and then click OK. Then save the Excel file (this will save the password to open encryption that you added).  Then next time you open the Excel file, it will prompt you for the password to open the Excel file and see its contents.

2) Save file with a password using Save As command.

  • In Excel 2007, to password protect an Excel file, click the round Office Button in the top left corner of Excel and then click Save AS, in the window that open up, click Tools, and then click General Options, and then in the window that opens up, enter a password where it says Password To Open, and in the next window that opens up, confirm the password. If this is the fist time saving the file, name the file, choose a file type, and choose a location to save file in, and then click Save. If you already saved the Excel file and are saving it to the same location, file type, and with the same file name, click Save and then in the window that open up it will ask you if you want to replace the file. If you do, click Yes.
  • In Excel 2010, Excel 2013, and Excel 2016, to password protect an Excel file, click the File tab in the Excel Ribbon, and then click Save As, in the window that open up, click Tools, and then click General Options, and then in the window that opens up, enter a password where it says Password To Open, and in the next window that opens up, confirm the password. If this is the fist time saving the file, name the file, choose a file type, and choose a location to save in, and then click Save. If you already saved the Excel file and are saving it to the same location, file type, and with the same file name, click Save and then in the window that open up it will ask you if you want to replace the file. If you do, click Yes. (note: In Excel 2016 for Mac, instead of clicking Tools and then General Options, you click Options)

Precautions if adding a password to open Excel file

Microsoft does not recover lost passwords. BuyExcelTemplates.com does not recover lost passwords. Passwords to open an Excel file have the potential to be broken into by a software hacker if the Excel file gets into the wrongs hands so it may be wise not to save sensitive personal financial information such as full credit card numbers in an Excel file even if it is password protected.

When you are prompted to create and enter a password, there is a note in the Excel window that states "Caution: If you lose or forget the password, it cannot be recovered. It is advisable to keep a list of passwords and their corresponding documents names in a safe place. Remember that passwords are case-sensitive."

Sometimes you may want to use a password to protect a file because you are backing up your Excel files on an online storage service such as OneDrive, DropBox or Google Drive. While these online cloud services have a password to sign on, adding a password at the file level may provide an extra level of protection from hackers and other breaches. Be aware that if you do add a password to protect your Excel file, if you forget the password, you will not be able to open the Excel file without the password. Microsoft does not recover lost Excel passwords. Although there may be some lost password recovery software options available online, there is no guarantee that they will work or cause other Excel file issues such an corrupt Excel file.

In Excel 2016 for Mac, passwords to open an Excel file have a 15-character limit.

 

Additional Excel protection and security tools

Password protecting an Excel file provides protection at the file level, requiring a password to open the file. There are additional ways to protect an Excel spreadsheet.

 

 

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