How to encrypt an Excel spreadsheet

This article describes the steps to encrypt and password protect an Excel spreadsheet.


In the course of working with the One Model team, it is often desirable to share spreadsheets of data. For example, you might be working to QA a data set and you want to provide a list of what the expected results should be. 


Sometimes these data sets will include employee and candidate personal information. We consider personal information to be anything that could be used to identify an individual, not only name and email but also IP address or even a physical description. 


If you need to share or send a data set that includes personal information, we strongly encourage you to use encryption to protect it. There are many ways to do file encryption, but since we are often dealing with spreadsheets, you can make use of an option built right into Microsoft Excel.


The following steps should work for recent versions of Excel. You can also check out this article from Office Support here:


Step One: Open your file in Excel.

Step Two: Click "File" in the upper left. Next make sure that "Info" is selected on the left hand menu. Then, look for an option that says "Protect Workbook." Click it and choose "Encrypt with Password."


Step Three: Choose and re-enter a password in the box. Ideally you should pick a strong password, but also remember you'll have to share the password with the person you want to be able to open the file. So don't use your bank account password. If you don't feel creative, just use a site like this one to generate a good random password for you


Step Four:  Save your workbook and give yourself a pat on the back for being serious about data protection. Your file is now encrypted with a password. Now you can feel more comfortable sending over to your One Model support team member. Send the password and the file in separate messages just to be extra safe. 


Remember, even with encryption, be thoughtful about the kind of data you share. Only share what you need to. 


Also, if you have any questions at all, you can reach out to your support person or email us at  We're happy to help! 




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