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How to Password Protect PowerPoint (Step-by-Step)

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So you want to protect all of the content within your presentation.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn two different ways to password protect your PowerPoint presentations.

Just keep in mind that if you forget your password, YOU will not be able to update and edit your presentation either.

So if you go this route, make sure you remember your password (or keep your password in a safe place so you remember it).

Another alternative to adding a password to your presentation is to instead convert your presentation into the PDF file format, see our step-by-step guide here.

Two PowerPoint Password Types

Before you add a password to your presentation, here’s a quick overview of the two types of passwords you can add to your presentation and some things to keep in mind.

#1: Password to open

Adding a password to open forces you (or whoever opens your presentation) to input a password option forces you to insert a password to open and see the contents of a PowerPoint Presentation.

If someone opens the file and does not know the password (or if they enter the wrong password) the presentation will not open. That isn’t the right password.

Example of the warning if you enter the wrong password when opening a protected presentation

#2: Password to modify (make PowerPoint read only)

Adding a password to modify allows someone to either:

  1. Enter the password as they open the presentation (allowing them to edit and modify the presentation as they normally would)

  2. Open your presentation in a Read Only format (the same as locking your presentation).

Opening a password protect presentation either as read only or entering the password to get full editing rights

In the Read Only version of your presentation, someone can still print your presentation (or turn your file into the PDF file format) or present the file in Slideshow mode.

All of your animations, effects, hyperlinks and movies will still work in the Read Only format.

That said, without the password, in the Read Only version of your presentation, someone will not be able to edit, modify, copy and paste, add new slides or even save your presentation in anyway.

Note: As most people are not used to seeing this option when they open a presentation, make sure you inform your client, boss or colleagues that they can still open the presentation in the Read Only format (this will avoid them reaching out to you when it appears that they cannot open the presentation).

Passwords are case sensitive

It’s important to remember that the passwords you create to protect your files are also case sensitive.

So the uppercase password ‘OPEN SESAME’ is treated differently than the lowercase password ‘open sesame.’

So make sure you remember exactly what your password is.

If in down, a clever way to add a password and always remember is to type the first 4 letters of the presentations title, and then add the word open.

For example, if your presentation is called Quarterly Report, you can just use the password ‘quar open.’

Use a simple mechanic like this (or create your own) will ensure that you always remember your password for the document (assuming someone doesn’t save the file with a new name).

Adding a password to PowerPoint

To add a password to PowerPoint, from the save as dialog box, open the Tools and Generals options, enter your password twice and click OK

To add a password to your PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Hit F12 to Save As (or File tab and Save As)

  2. Open the Tools drop down

  3. Select General Options

  4. Enter a password for either to Open or To Modify

  5. Confirm Your Password (case sensitive)

  6. Rename your presentation (recommended)

  7. Click Save

Why you should rename your presentation.

When you add a password to your presentation (either to Open or Modify), your file is considered a NEW document.

If you do not rename the presentation before saving it in the same folder, the NEW file will replace your existing file and it will forever have a password.

That’s why I recommend renaming the presentation to something else (or adding the ‘ - Password’ qualifier to your document so that you know it has a password, and if you ever forget your password, you can always find and open your original presentation.

Removing a password from PowerPoint

To remove a password from PowerPoint, enter the the correct password then from the Tools General options remove the password and click ok

To remove a password from your PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Open the protected presentation
  2. Enter the correct password
  3. Hit F12 for Save As
  4. Open the Tools Options
  5. Select General Options
  6. Delete the password (either Open or Modify)
  7. Select Okay
  8. Select Cancel or Save operation

Simply deleting either the Open or Modify password and selecting okay removes the password from the presentation.

Another way you can protect your presentation is to turn it into a PowerPoint picture presentation. For details, see our step-by-step guide here.


What’s next?

Updated on May 17, 2019

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