Password protect your PowerPoint presentation

Here’s how to add password protection to a sensitive PowerPoint presentation

An amazing presentation demands to be seen. Although we spend the vast majority of our time creating killer PowerPoint slide decks that are designed to be enjoyed, we sometimes need to keep things private.

If you have a presentation that contains sensitive data or is intended for a very specific audience, you need to think about password protection. The file might be safe on your laptop or phone, secure behind other passwords and fingerprint sensors, but what happens once you email it?

Emails can be intercepted, read by the wrong person, or even forwarded to whole groups of unintended people. That means your presentation, which could be filled with highly secretive data, could fall into the wrong hands.

Setting a password to protect PowerPoint

Fortunately PowerPoint comes with a very handy feature that allows you to set a unique password. With this enabled, the presentation file will only open when the correct password is entered, allowing you to decide who can access it.

Here’s how to set a password on a PC:
  • With your PowerPoint presentation open, go to File in the top menu, then tap Info on the left.
  • The first button on the top will be Protect Presentation. Click that and you’ll be given a drop-down menu.
  • Click Encrypt with Password and enter your desired password into the dialogue box that opens. Your PowerPoint is now protected by a password.
  • Remember: just as the box says, passwords in PowerPoint can not be recovered if you forget them, so make sure to keep track of which files are protected with which passwords.
Here’s how to set a password on a Mac:
  • In PowerPoint, tap File at the top and find Passwords in the drop-down.
  • Click that and then select Password to open.
  • Enter your password into the box that appears, confirming it by entering it again.

Once a password has been set in both PC and Mac versions of PowerPoint, the file will not fully open without it being correctly entered. Be sure to carefully consider how you inform the recipient of the password, and impress upon them the importance to keep it safe and secure.

Spies, we’re looking at you.

Stop accidental changes

If you’re password protecting your PowerPoint presentation, it probably means you won’t be around when it’s opened. Therefore you can add another layer of protection to ensure nobody accidentally fiddles with it, changing (and potentially ruining) all your hard work.

PowerPoint files can be set to open in ‘Read-only’ mode, stopping changes being made to the presentation. As with setting a password, this is a quick and easy thing to do but could make all the difference if the person opening the file is a little ‘click-happy’ with their mouse.

Here’s how to set a PowerPoint file as ‘Read-only’ on a PC:
  • Go back to File and the Info tab on the left.
  • Tap the same Protect Presentation button, but this time click on Always open Read-only.

The next time the PowerPoint presentation is opened, with or without a password, it’ll be set to ‘Read-only’ mode. That means changes can still be made, however, but only after the user consciously clicks the ‘Edit anyway’ button.

Password protect against changes on a Mac:

Mac users get a slightly more secure way of protecting against accidental changes in a PowerPoint file.

  • Navigate to the same place you set the password protection for the entire file.
  • Now select Password to modify and give it a click.
  • Enter the desired password.

Now your user will not only have to enter the password to gain access, but also to make any changes. Your PowerPoint presentation is safe as houses. Again, just be sure the person to whom you are sending the file knows both passwords.

Your PowerPoint presentation might not contain state secrets, but it will contain work that is worth protecting. Follow these simple steps to ensure that only those you intend to see it will do. And that all your incredible presentation design won’t be wasted.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you put together that killer presentation. 

From expertly designed slides, to damn-clever PowerPoint development, no one does presentations like we do.