How to Password Protect Google Docs (Step-by-Step Guide)

 I have specially curated this article on, “How to password protect Google Docs?” due to this openness, anyone with permission to access or having account credentials can peep into your data or text and cause a breach.

And therefore, the documents need to be password protected.

Is it really important?

Are you working on a specific and confidential corporate project in unison?

If yes, then Google Docs is your go-to word processor tool. 

Why? 

Because Google Docs is one of the most versatile and advanced word document processors that allows you to create as well as collaborate with others in real-time via the “Collaborators” feature.

So, without any further ado, let’s hop into the discussion.

How to password protect Google Docs?

Password-protecting a word file on Microsoft Word is as easy as  taking a bit of a cake.

Meaning, all you need to do is access the “File” menu from the menu bar and then click on the “Encrypt with Password” option to password-protect the file. 

But, the same cannot be done while using the Google Docs app. 

So, we need to take a different approach to the process.

For Instance, you can try;

  1. Converting files to .docx format and then encrypting them via MS Word. 
  2. Using Google Forms as a file encryption tool.
  3. Converting the doc file to PDF and then encrypting it.
  4. Using Password Protect for Google Docs.
  5. Encrypting the doc file using the “Permissions” feature

Converting files in .docx format and then encrypting them via MS Word.

Now, this is the first alternative way that we suggest you to password-protect your Google Docs file, as there is no direct way to get the job done.

So, first of all, convert the Google Docs document to MS Word format by following these steps.

Step 1. Converting Docs to Word:

  • Open your existing Google Docs document.
  • Now, click on the “File” menu visible at the top left side of the menu bar.
File option in Header menu How to password protect Google Docs
  • A list of options will be available on your screen.
  • Next, navigate to the “Download” option and then click on it.
Download option How to password protect Google Docs
  • A side menu will pop up on your screen as shown below.
Side menu popup How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, as we are willing to convert the Google Doc file into a Word document, we will be selecting the “Microsoft Word (.docx)” option.
Microsoft word docx How to password protect Google Docs
  • That’s it. The Google Docs document will now get downloaded on your PC in Microsoft Word (.docx) format.

You can access the downloaded file from inside the “Downloaded” folder on your PC. So, access and open it.

Now, to password-protect the file, just follow the next segment of the tutorial.

Step 2. Password protecting the file:

  • Open up the “File” menu located on the menu bar.
File option in menu How to password protect Google Docs
  • Next, click on the “Info” option.
  • A new side menu will pop up on your screen with a list of options as shown below.
Side menu with options How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, click on the “Protect Document” option followed by the “Encrypt with Password” option.
Encrypt with password How to password protect Google Docs
  • You will be asked to fetch in your desired password. So do the needful.
  • Then, press the “OK” button.
Enter password How to password protect Google Docs
  • You will be prompted to re-enter your password. So re-enter it.
  • Now, again press the “OK” button, and done. 
Re enter password How to password protect Google Docs

Your word document is now password protected.

Moving on to the next segment, now let us see how to re-upload the file to Google Drive.

Step 3. Uploading the file:

  • Head to your Google Drive by visiting drive.google.com, and then sign in if required.
  • Next, click on the “+” sign visible at the top left side of the screen.
Plus sign on Google Drive How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, click on the “File Upload” option.
File Upload option How to password protect Google Docs
  • This will trigger the computer to open up a new window. So, navigate to the appropriate location of the file, and then select it.
  • Done, your password-protected file is now a part of your Google Drive space.

Now whenever you will share this password-protected file with someone else, they will need to enter the password to access the data.

You can also follow the same procedure by using the WinRar app.

Using Google Forms as an encryption tool.

If you don’t like the lethargic process of downloading, encrypting, and then re-uploading the file to Google Drive, worry not, because you can also use Google Forms to your rescue. 

So, if you want to give it a try, then follow the instructions mentioned below.

  • Open Google Forms via the official URL or the Google apps menu.
  • Now, choose a “Blank” form.
  • Next, click to edit the “Untitled form” section and then rename the form. Here we have chosen to name it “Password.”
Rename the form How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, click on the “Untitled Questions” segment and then rename it. We have decided to rename it to “Enter the password to access.”
Enter password to access How to password protect Google Docs
  • Next, select “Short Answer” as your answer type.
Short Answer How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, toggle on the “Required” switch to make sure the recipient answers it.
Toggle on Required How to password protect Google Docs
  • After that, click on the “three dotted vertical menu.”
Three dotted vertical menu How to password protect Google Docs
  • Next, select the “Response Validation” option.
Response Validation How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, choose “Text” from the drop-down menu.
Text Option How to password protect Google Docs
  • Then enter your desired password inside the “Text” field.
Desired password in text field How to password protect Google Docs
  • Don’t forget to enter an error message inside the “Custom error text” field, otherwise, it will tell the recipient the password.
Custom Error text How to password protect Google Docs
  • Next, navigate to the “Settings” tab and click on it.
Settings Tab How to password protect Google Docs
  • A new menu will open up.
  • Now, select the “Presentation” option.
Presentation Option How to password protect Google Docs
  • Then, copy the URL of your Google Doc, paste it inside the “Confirmation Message” field, and then select “Save.”
Confirmation Message box How to password protect Google Docs
  • Lastly, send this form to your recipients via email or link, along with the instructions through other communication means.

Now, when your recipient will enter the password correctly, only then he/she be able to access the link to that Google Docs file.

The file link will look something like this. 

Demo Google Docs file link How to password protect Google Docs

Converting the doc file to PDF and then encrypting it.

Next, you can also use the PDF encryption method to encrypt your Google Docs file.

This method uses the same process of downloading and then re-uploading the file that is mentioned in the first method. 

So, if you are ready to give it a try, then just follow the next part.

Step 1: Converting Docs to PDF.

  • Open your Google Docs document.
  • Now, head towards the “File” menu inside the menu toolbar.
  • Next, hover on the “Download” option.
  • A new side menu will open up.
  • Lastly, select the “PDF Document (.pdf)” option to convert and download the file in PDF format.
PDF Document pdf How to password protect Google Docs

Step 2: Re-uploading the file.

  • Visit your Google Drive by accessing it through its official URL drive.google.com, or via the Google Apps menu.
  • Next, select the “+” symbol available at the left-hand corner of the screen.
  • It will open up a new drop-down menu. 
  • Now, to upload the file select the “File Upload” option from the list of options.
  • This will trigger your computer to open up a new window.
  • Next, navigate to the “Downloads” folder on that new window and select that particular PDF file from the list.
  • And done. Your file will now get uploaded to your Google Drive.

Step 3: Encrypt the PDF file.

  • Open your Google Drive.
  • Now, you will see the uploaded PDF file on the list. So, select it and click on the “PDF toolbar” icon visible at the right-hand corner of the screen.
PDF Toolbar sign How to password protect Google Docs

Note: If you can’t see the PDF toolbar icon, then probably you will need to download and install it on your G-Drive via the “add-on” extensions option.

  • You will now see an option called “Authorize.” This is because the “PDF toolbar” doesn’t automatically get access to the files.
  • So, you will need to manually sanction it.
Authorize How to password protect Google Docs
  • You will now get two options; Encrypt PDF or Decrypt PDF.
Encrypt Decrypt PDF How to password protect Google Docs
  • Select the “Encrypt PDF” option.
  • Now, rename the file as per your convenience, and then fetch in a strong password (make use of letters, numbers & special characters in your password).
  • Lastly, click on the “Encrypt” option.
Encrypt Button How to password protect Google Docs

Your password-protected PDF file has successfully been created.

You can now download it, or view it in the browser itself with the available options.

Not to forget, you can also send the encrypted file to anyone via their email address. 

Using Password Protect for Google Documents:

Now, if you don’t want to waste your time converting the Word file to a PDF file, then you can simply use the “Password Protect for Google Documents” app to your rescue.

Want a step-by-step tutorial?

Well then, head to the next part.

Step 1: App Installation.

  • Open up your Google Drive.
  • Then, click on the “Get Add-ons” button visible on the left-hand side of the screen.
Get Add Ons How to password protect Google Docs
  • Now, search for “Password Protect for Google Documents” in the search bar.
  • Then, click on “Install” and “Continue.”
Continue option How to password protect Google Docs
  • After that, sign in to your Google Account, checkmark the required permissions, and then click on “Continue.”
Continue Button How to password protect Google Docs
  • The app has been successfully installed.

Step 2: Password protecting the file.

  • Right-click on your Google Docs file while on the Google Drive page.
  • Then, hover over the “Open with” option.
Open With Option How to password protect Google Docs
  • A new side menu will appear.
  • Now, select “Password Protect for Google Docs.”
Password Protect for Google Docs How to password protect Google Docs
  • Then, scroll down to the “Password” section, and enter your desired password inside the box.
Desired Password in box How to password protect Google Docs
  • You can also choose the “Save in the specified folder” option if you want to save it inside a specific folder.
Select Target folder to save from Google Drive How to password protect Google Docs
  • Lastly, click on the “Create Password Protected Document” option and that’s it.
Create Password Protected Document How to password protect Google Docs

Your file will be saved in PDF format with the password.

Encrypting the doc file using the “Permissions” feature:

Lastly, you can simply encrypt your Google Docs file by using the “Permissions” feature. And guess what, you can simply do this work by following the next tutorial.

  • Open up your Google Docs file.
  • Then, click on the “Share” button visible at the top-right corner of the screen.
Share Button How to password protect Google Docs
  • A new window will open up.
  • Now, navigate to the “General access” section.
  • By default, it is set to “Anyone with the link.”
Anyone with the link How to password protect Google Docs
  • Change it to “Restricted” and press Done.
Restricted How to password protect Google Docs

Now, the people to whom you will grant the access to the file will only be able to see the content of the file.

Moreover, you can also decide if they can be editors or only viewers/commenters.

You can also send over the link by clicking on the “Copy link” option.

Conclusion:

Creating a word document file and sharing it throughout becomes very much easy when using Google Docs. 

However, the same app still doesn’t allow the users to encrypt the doc file with passwords directly.

So, it is better to encrypt the file via the methods mentioned in the article.

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