How to protect / lock a PowerPoint presentation?


Unless you protect your PowerPoint document, anyone with access to the file can open, copy and edit the contents. Here's how you can protect/ lock your PowerPoint presentations.

This post is part of our hints and tips for standard PowerPoint features.  PPT Productivity is a time saving add-in for PowerPoint.  If you’d like to boost your productivity and stop wasting time on alignment, formatting and finding slides to reuse then please visit our homepage and download our free trial today!

To protect your document, go to the file tab, select Info, then click ‘Protect Presentation’

In the drop-down menu, you will find 4 or 5 options (depending on which version of PowerPoint you are running): ‘Always Open Read-Only’, ‘Encrypt with Password’, ‘Restrict Access’, ‘Add a Digital Signature’, ‘Mark as Final’.

Note - This article is about general locking of a PowerPoint presentation, if you want to protect specific shapes on your slide from being edited – check out our shape locking tool

Choose which option best suits your needs.

Always Open Read-Only will prevent accidental changes by displaying a yellow banner at the top of the presentation indicating that the presentation is read only. The reader will need to opt-in to editing the document by clicking the ‘Edit Anyway’ button

Encrypt with Password will password protect the document. A password will be required to open the document. It’s very important to note that if you forget the password, the document cannot be accessed.

If your organization uses Microsoft 365, you also have the Restrict Access option. The Restrict Access option allows people to view the presentation, but prevents them from editing, copying, or printing. To use the Restrict Access option, you need to have Information Rights Access set up on your machine. Find more information about Information Rights Access.

A digital signature adds unique code to a message which only comes from the digital ID held by the true sender. If you choose Add a Digital Signature you will need to have a Digital Signature set up.  For more information about Digital Signatures visit the Microsoft Support Page.

Mark as Final sets the document status to Final. Typing, editing commands and proofing marks are turned off. A yellow banner noting that the document has been marked as final will appear at the top of the presentation. Readers will still be able to Edit the document if they click on the ‘Edit Anyway’ button.

Once you have decided which option is best for your needs, select the relevant option and save your document.

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Hints and Tips     PowerPoint hacks, PowerPoint tips, Lock PowerPoint Presentations