Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Saving a Workbook Using Passwords.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 25, 2015)
Excel includes a feature that allows you to save a workbook using a password so that only others who have the password can access the file. This form of protection can stop others from using a workbook unless they know your password. To save a workbook using password protection, follow these steps:
If you are using Excel 97, the steps to follow are just a bit different:
The Save Options dialog box contains boxes where you can enter two passwords. Each password controls a different level of protection. If you fill in the first password field, you are specifying the password someone needs to know simply to open the workbook. If you fill in the second field, then someone needs to know that password to make any changes to the workbook. Understand that they can still save the open workbook under a new name, but they cannot make any changes and save them back into the same disk file.
You should set your passwords as desired, and then click on OK to dismiss the Save Option dialog box. You are asked to confirm your password, and then you can continue to save your file (using the Save As dialog box) as you normally would.
As a final caveat, you should note that none of the native (built-in) password schemes in Excel are particularly robust. If you want the best protection possible, you should look to a third-party solution for encrypting and protecting your workbooks.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2938) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Saving a Workbook Using Passwords.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
Do you want user-entered data to be immediately protected so that it cannot be changed? This can be done relatively ...Discover More
Having problems with using macros in a protected workbook? There could be any number of causes (and solutions) as ...Discover More
Want to protect the Excel information stored in a particular folder on your system? There are a number of ways you can ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.