Does setting a password on an excel file encrypt the file? Cannot Autosave

Copper Contributor

I have an Excel file that will not let me set it to autosave because it wants me to turn off the encryption.  I don't know that I ever turned it on.  It is a year old file I use occasionally so who knows what I might have done in any particular session of using it - although I am too ignorant to ever do that intentionally.  Does setting a password make the file encrypted?

3 Replies



The latest version of Excel allows encrypting with password or protect the workbook, but seems both support auto-save, may I know if your file keep in OneDrive? If yes, it will not be working



Thank you.   I do keep this on One Drive now (as of this past week).


Your statement, "...allows encrypting with password..." made me consider that we can password protect with or without encrypting.  As I followed up and researched the topic, I take it that PSW protection is a two step process: (1) "Encrypt?" and (2) "Add Password?  I presume if I do not encrypt the file, it can be more easily hacked if someone should gain access to it..., although it is still password protected.


Apparently what the layman read and interpreted is wrong; it is not a two step process but rather one conjoined event.


How to add a password to your Excel workbooks
Microsoft Excel has a password protection feature that you can use to safeguard your workbooks. Here’s how you add a password to your Excel workbooks:


  • Select File > Info.
  • Choose Protect Workbook.
  • Select Encrypt with Password.  (I deduce that Password Protection is an encryption process in of itself)
  • Create a strong password to protect your Excel workbook. The password is case-sensitive, but the length and character mix are up to your discretion.
  • Confirm the password by entering it again.
  • Select OK to save these changes.


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