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How to encrypt an Excel file?

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  • 3 min read

Encrypting sensitive data is crucial in maintaining data security and preventing unauthorised access. It becomes more necessary in applications like Excel which may contain important information about your day-to-day personal expenses or a company’s balance sheet.

In this article, we will talk about how to encrypt an Excel file easily.

Encrypt an Excel file (on Windows)

Here are the steps to encrypt an Excel file:

Step 1: Open the Excel file that you want to encrypt and then click on the File icon located at the top left corner of the screen.

Step 2: Next, click on the Info tab located at the top.

Step 3: After that, click on Protect Workbook and then select the Encrypt with Password option from the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Enter the password that you wish for the file. Remember to note down the password somewhere safe as Excel does not provide you with the functionality of recovering lost passwords. If your password is lost, then you can’t open the file.

Also read: How to hide and unhide columns in Excel?

Encrypt an Excel file (on Mac)

The steps for encrypting an Excel file on Mac are a bit different:

  • Open the Excel file and then click on the File option at the top.
  • Next, select the Passwords option from the drop-down menu.
  • Type in the password and confirm the process by clicking OK.

Also read: How to hide and unhide rows in Excel?

That’s it! By following the steps given above, you can easily encrypt your Excel file.

Frequently answered questions (FAQs)

Let us dive into some FAQs on the topic:

Does Excel encrypt password-protected files?

Yes, you can encrypt files in Excel. Just go to File > Info > Protect Workbook > Encrypt with Password.

How to password protect an Excel File but allow read-only access?

Go to File > Info > Protect Document. The Protect Document option always opens the Excel file in the view-only mode so as to prevent accidental changes and editing.

Also read: Why and how to encrypt your Android device?

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: