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How to Password Protect Google Docs?

December 3, 2021

Google Docs is one of the most powerful tools that allow collaborative work, however, it doesn’t let you password-protect your documents. Since it allows collaborations and access from multiple locations at once from anywhere in the world, it’s essential to ensure the security of your documents.

Password-protecting your Google Docs secures your information from being accessed by hackers or external people. In this post, we have shared a few ways in which you can password-protect your Google Docs documents. Let’s get started!

Is It Possible to Open Google Docs Without Access?

If you have ever tried to open a Google Docs or Drive’s link, then you would’ve noticed that it asks for access permission.

This shows that even though Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets aren’t password-protected, you can’t access them unless you either have the password to the Google account with which they are associated, or you’ve been granted access to view and edit them by the owner of the account.

Keeping these Google protocols in view, the best way to ensure that no one gets hold of your Google Docs is by making sure that it's well-protected. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Ensure that your Google account’s password is strong with special characters, numbers, and capital case letters in it
  • Enable two-step verification in your account
  • Protect your laptop or PC through a pin so that no one snoops into it

How to Password Protect Google Docs Through Word?

You can add a layer of protection to your word document before uploading it to Google Docs by password protecting it through MS Word. All you need is MS Office installed on your PC or laptop and your document will get extra protection in two simple steps. Here’s how:

Step 1: Encrypt Your Word Document

Open the word document that you want to password-protect. Click on ‘File’, and then ‘Info’. There, you’ll see a drop-down ‘Protect Document’. Click on it and choose ‘Encrypt with Password’.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

A window similar to the one below will pop up. Choose a strong password and note it somewhere safe.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

Remember if you lose the password, then you won’t be able to recover the document.

Step 2: Upload it to Google Docs

Once you’ve password-protected your word document, upload it to Google Docs or Drive as you would do with any other document.

After uploading the password-protected word document to Google Docs, you won’t be able to make any changes to it because Google won’t be able to read it. So, if you ever want to edit it, then you’ll have to download it, decrypt it, edit it, encrypt it again, and upload it to Google Docs.

How to Password Protect Google Docs Through Acrobat?

Similar to a word document, you can provide an extra layer of protection to your PDF document as well by password protecting it through Acrobat before uploading it to Google Docs. You can only do this if you have Acrobat Pro because the unpaid version of Acrobat doesn’t offer this service. Here’s how you can password protect your PDF document through Acrobat Pro:

Step 1: Encrypt Your PDF Document

Open your PDF document in Acrobat Pro. Go to ‘File’ and then ‘Password Protect’.


Graphical user interface, text, application, emailDescription automatically generated

Choose a strong password with special characters, numbers, and a mix of small and capital case letters to make it difficult to crack. You have the option to put a password on either viewing or editing the PDF document.

copy
Image via PCMag

Step 2: Upload it on Google Docs

Once you’ve put the password on your PDF document, upload it to Google Docs. Don’t forget to note your password somewhere safe because you won’t be able to recover it.

In addition to this, you won’t be able to view or edit your document in Google Docs, so if you require to make any changes or view the PDF file, then you’ll have to download it and then view or edit it.

How to Password Protect Google Docs for Free via Software?

You can password protect your Google Docs by uploading them in an encrypted volume. You can achieve this for free by downloading VeraCrypt.

Before you download the software, you need to understand how it works. In simple terms, VeraCrypt is a virtual portable flash drive. It allows you to make password protected volumes or containers which you can mount on different computers and work on them. Once you are done with them, you can dismount them from that device.

The question is, how can we associate it with Google Drive or Google Docs? We’ll explain this to you while narrating the procedure.

Head over to this link to download VeraCrypt directly. After downloading and installing the software, follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose Volume Size and Location

Open VeraCrypt and click on ‘Create Volume’.

create volume

The following window will pop up. Choose ‘Create an encrypted file container’. This will allow you to create an encrypted volume where you can transfer the files, folders, or drives that you need to be password-protected.

encrypted file

Click on ‘Next’. Chose ‘Standard VeraCrypt Volume’. You can also choose ‘Hidden VeraCrypt volume’, which would allow you to save your files and folders within another VeraCrypt volume, without their volume being shown on it. For simplicity, we have stuck with the Standard one.

standard

Click on ‘Next’. Now, VeraCrypt will ask you to choose a location for the volume. Select a location wherever you want and click on ‘Next’.

The following window will show up. Leave it as it is.

Graphical user interface, applicationDescription automatically generated

On clicking ‘Next’, VeraCrypt will ask you to choose a drive volume. The available volume will be given below the volume selection tab.

volume size

Step 2: Password-protect the Volume

After selecting a size, you will be asked to choose a password. Make sure that you select a password with a combination of special characters, numbers, and small and capital case alphabets.


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On clicking ‘Next’, a window similar to the one given below will open. Bring the cursor on top of it and move it repeatedly till the bar at the bottom fills up.

volume format

Click on ‘Format’, and your volume will be created.

Step 3: Mount the Volume

After creating the volume, click on ‘Exit’, and go back to the original VeraCrypt window. Select a Drive from there and click on ‘Mount’.

crypt

VeraCrypt will ask you for a password. It’s the same one that you chose while creating the volume. After putting in the password, click on ‘Next’ and your drive will be ready.

Step 4 A: Upload the Files That Need to be Password-protected

Go to ‘My PC’, there you’ll see the volume in the form of a Local Disk. Open it and put the documents that require password protection. Now dismount the disk from VeraCrypt by selecting the volume and then pressing ‘Dismount’. The Local Drive will be gone.

password

Step 4B: Upload the Local Drive to Google Drive

If you are planning to work in a collaborative environment, then you can upload the volume to Google Drive. You can also open a single document in Google Docs.

You can do this by logging into Google Drive, right-clicking the white space, and choosing ‘Upload Folder’. From there, you can choose the volume and upload it.

upload folder

Once the work is done, download the edited files and put them in the volume because there isn’t an option to sync Google Drive and VeraCrypt yet.

Step 5: Upload the Volume to Google Drive

After demounting the volume, upload the volume file (the one that you initially created while making the volume) into Google Drive by right-clicking the white space, and choosing ‘Upload File’.

upload the volume

To access your volume again, simply download that file and mount it on VeraCrypt again and you’ll be good to go!

How to Password-Protect Google Docs Through an Extension?

If you are looking for a simple method to password-protect your Google Docs, then Secure File Encryption is best for you. It’s an add-on, and thus, doesn’t require too much effort. You can install it by clicking here. While installing, ensure that you use the Google account whose Docs and Drive needs password protection.

Step 1: Open Secure File Encryption in Google Drive

Open your Google Drive, click on the ‘My Drive’ dropdown, select ‘More’, and choose ‘Secure File Encryption’.

my drive

Step 2: Select Password

On clicking on ‘Secure File Encryption’, a new tab will open. Click on ‘Click here to get started’. A new window will open asking you to choose a Google account. Secure File Encryption will ask for access, press ‘Allow’. The following tab will open.

select password

Choose a password for the file. Remove the tick from ‘Random Filename’, if you want to upload the document with its original name.

Step 3: Upload the Document

Click on ‘Drop file here…’ to upload your required document.

secure file

After password protecting your document with Secure File Encryption, you won’t be able to edit it on Google Drive. You’ll have to download it to work on it.

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