How to protect / lock a PowerPoint presentation?

Unless you protect your PowerPoint document, anyone with access to the .pptx file can open, copy and edit the contents. Here's a guide to 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 in PowerPoint and save time aligning, formatting and reusing slides, visit our homepage and download the PPT Productivity free trial today!

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

In the drop-down menu, you will find 4 or 5 options for protecting presentations in PowerPoint (options available depend 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. However if you want to lock specific shapes on your PowerPoint slide from being edited – visit PPT Productivity's website to learn more about the PPT Productivity shape locking tool for PowerPoint.

Screenshot PowerPoint Protect Presentation button

Choose which option best suits your needs:

Always Open Read-Only PowerPoint setting prevents accidental changes by displaying a yellow banner at the top of the PowerPoint 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

Screenshot of PowerPoint Read-only View alert

Encrypt with Password PowerPoint setting lets you password protect your PowerPoint presentation. A password will be required to open the document. It’s very important to note that if you forget the password, you will not be able to open the presentation.

If your organization uses Microsoft 365, you also have a Restrict Access option in PowerPoint. The Restrict Access option allows people to view the PowerPoint 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 in PowerPoint, you will need to have a Digital Signature set up.  For more information about Digital Signatures visit the Microsoft Support Page.

Mark as Final PowerPoint setting sets the PowerPoint presentation 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.

Screenshot of PowerPoint Marked as Final alert

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

Want to create polished presentations faster? With PPT Productivity, boost your team's productivity with faster formatting, easier editing, collaboration tools and more! If you're not yet using PPT Productivity, download our free 30 day trial today. We offer free one-on-one training and flexible licensing to suit individuals, teams or enterprise.

Want to see our tools in action?

Book a personalized demo with our PowerPoint professionals

Book Live Demo

Download 30 Day Free Trial

Download your 30 day free trial - Microsoft Office for Windows

Start Free Trial
Hints and Tips     PowerPoint Hacks, PowerPoint Tips, Lock PowerPoint Presentations