How to change the password of a workbook in Excel for Microsoft 365

Copper Contributor



I want to use a stronger password for an (entire) Excel file (i.e., a workbook) than the one I installed a year ago. 

I am aware of these articles:

Protection and security in Excel - Microsoft Support

Protect an Excel file - Microsoft Support


I need to remove the first password for the workbook, and then enter the new password. For some reason, it doesn't work as outlined in the article.


Any idea how I can do this?


Thank you!

3 Replies


Password options

Before you deal with password protection, you have to know in which levels and what type of password protection you already use.

In the upper link you will find more informations about password protection, maybe it will help you.




Thank you for your message (a few weeks ago).


I figured out how I set the password for my Excel file or my Excel workbook (I assume this is the same for now): I went to File, Info, Protect Workbook, Encrypt with Password, and then I entered the Password, and then re-entered it.


This website explains exactly what I did:


Protect an Excel file - Microsoft Support


Now I would like to change that password to make my password stronger.


Do I first have to (somehow) undo or remove the password, and then set a new password? 


Or is there another way to change the password, perhaps with an even higher security setting?


Thank you for your input,




Require a password to open or modify a workbook

Open the file with the existing password.
Then go to: File --> Save As --> Browse --> Explorer opens --> Tools (next to Save) --> General Options --> Enter new password to open or change, or remove old.

With remove, the password to open the file is removed.