How to password protect PDF documents on Microsoft Word

Yes, you can use Word to add a password to a PDF document, and here's how.

Word add password to PDF
  • To add a password to a PDF document, open Word > File > Export, select “Create PDF/XPS Document,” and click “Create PDF/XPS,” click “Options,” check “Encrypt the document with a password,” click “OK,” create a password for the PDF, and click “Publish.”

Whether you use Windows 11 (or 10), you can use Microsoft Word to secure a PDF document with a password without the need for third-party software, such as Adobe Acrobat.

Microsoft Office apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access include a feature to export a document as a PDF file with the option to encrypt the document using a robust 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) password, which should be more than enough to keep content secure.

Using this feature, you can add a password for existing PDF documents or export Word documents as PDFs with the same protection.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to secure a PDF file with a password using Microsoft Word.

Create password for PDF file with Microsoft Word

To add a password to a PDF document with Word, use these steps:

  1. Open Word.

  2. Click on File and choose the Open option.

  3. Open the PDF document to encrypt it with a password.

    Quick tip: You can also encrypt a Word document with a password using the same steps.
  4. Click on File and choose the Export option.

  5. Select the “Create PDF/XPS Document” option.

  6. Click the “Create PDF/XPS” button.

    Word create PDF option

  7. Click the Options button.

    Word save options

  8. Under the “PDF Options” section, check the “Encrypt the document with a password” option.

    Encrypt document with password

  9. Click the OK button.

  10. Create a password for the PDF document.

    Word create password for PDF file

  11. Click the OK button.

  12. Click the Publish button.

Once you complete the steps, the PDF viewer application will require a password to open and make the content readable when opening the PDF document.

Although this guide only shows the process using Word, you can use the instructions to protect Excel, PowerPoint, and Access documents.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].