In order to password protect a Microsoft Word document, users must first save the document in their preferred folder. Then, open File > Info in the main ribbon. In the Protect Document area on the right side, select either Encrypt with Password or Restrict Editing.
If Encrypt with Password is chosen, a window will pop up and prompt the user to create a password. This password will be required to open the document. Click OK and then save the document again.
If Restrict Editing is chosen, users can set more detailed restrictions on editing like who can make changes and what type of changes they can make. Users must also provide a password, but this one is not required to open the document. Finally, save the document again.
Word can also be configured to open documents only after entering a password. To do this, go to File > Options > Advanced, find the Security section, and select the Encrypt document properties checkbox. Enter a password, click OK, and save the document.
To open the password protected Word document, users need to open the file normally but the password will be required to open it. Once the correct password is entered, the document will unlock and can be opened and viewed or edited.
It is important for users to remember the password for their document. In the event that the password is forgotten, it cannot be recovered. The document will not be accessible without it. There are paid services available online that claim to recover lost passwords from Word documents, but be aware that many of them are scams.