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7 Ways to Protect PowerPoint Presentation from Editing!

Isn’t it annoying when you spend hours and hours creating a visually appealing presentation and do all the hard work, only to find out that your colleague or your manager has made changes to the presentation!

Intentional or not, now you’ve got to make the changes to your presentation again; some of which could have been easily avoided if you were able to prevent the presentation file from editing.

Here’s how to protect a PowerPoint presentation file –

  1. Mark the presentation as “Final”
  2. Restrict permission to PowerPoint
  3. Save the presentation as a PowerPoint Show file
  4. Set a password to modify PowerPoint
  5. Convert PowerPoint to pictures
  6. Convert PowerPoint to a PDF
  7. Convert PowerPoint to a video

There are many applications of knowing how to protect your PowerPoint presentation.

So, in this article, let’s understand the 7 different ways to protect PowerPoint in further detail such that you can ensure that the person you are sharing your presentation with, will not be able to make changes to it.

Let’s get started!

1. How to Protect PowerPoint presentation from Editing?

We shall divide the 7 ways into two groups –

  1. Prevent PowerPoint file from editing
  2. Convert PowerPoint to make it uneditable

Prevent PowerPoint File from Editing

There are actually 4 ways in which you can prevent users from editing your PowerPoint presentation.

You can either mark the presentation as final, restrict the presentation by allowing access to specific users, save the presentation as a PPS file or set a password for your presentation.

All the 4 methods and the process to use them are explained elaborately in the following section –

Method 1 – Mark the Presentation as Final 

By marking the PowerPoint presentation as final, the PowerPoint file will become “Read-only”.

Although this method doesn’t restrict people from editing your file. However, they will not be able to save changes to the original file. When using this method, PowerPoint will force users to save another copy of the presentation file; thereby protecting your presentation.

This method is especially helpful when you share the presentation over the same network within your organization or even when the presentation is saved on a cloud. It is also helpful when more than one person is working on the same presentation.

It is not a perfect fix, but a quick fix to the problem for sure.

The process of marking your PowerPoint presentation as final is given below –

Step-1: Click on the “File” tab

The first step of the process is to click on the “File” tab, which is the first option in the ribbon of your PowerPoint presentation. This will take you to the backend view of the PowerPoint.

Step-2: Select the “Info” option

After you have accessed the “File” tab, select the “Info” option which is the 4th option in the tab. This will take you to a new page in the “File” tab.

Step-3: Select the “Protect Presentation” option

The third step is to select the “Protect Presentation” option in the “Info” section (as shown in the image in step 2). It is the first of the four boxes on the “Info” page.

After you click on the “Protect Presentation” option, a drop-down menu will appear on your screen.

Step-4: Click on “Mark as Final”

From the drop-down menu, select the “Mark as Final” option. It is located at the very bottom of the dropdown menu (as shown in the image in step 2).

Step-5: Hit the “OK” button

After you click on the “Mark as Final” option, a pop-up window will appear on your screen.

Simply click on the “OK” button and the presentation will be saved as final. Once your presentation is “Saved as Final”, you won’t be able to edit this presentation going forward.

Thus, I recommend that you make this change once you’ve finished your presentation.

Method 2 – Restrict Permission  

The next method is to restrict the permissions to edit a PowerPoint presentation.

In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to protect a PowerPoint presentation and to prevent users from editing the PowerPoint file!

By restricting permission, you will be able to allow specific users to access your PowerPoint presentation.

To use this feature in your presentation, follow step-1 through step-3 from the previous section and then follow the easy steps described below.

Step-1: Click on the “File” tab

The first step is to click on the “File” tab to enter the backend view of your PowerPoint presentation.

Step-2: Click on the “Info” option

Now, click on the “Info” tab from the options in the left part of your screen.

Step-3: Select the “Restricted Access” option

The next step is to select the “Restrict Access” option from the drop-down menu of the “Protect Presentation” option. It is the 3rd option in the drop-down menu (as shown in the image in step 2)

Once you click on the “Restrict Access” option, another drop-down menu will appear on your screen. Select the “Restricted Access” option which is the second option in the menu.

Step-4: Click on the checkbox

After you click on the “Restricted Access” option, a pop-up window will appear on your screen.

From the pop-up window, click on the “Restrict permission to this presentation” checkbox. It is located at the top of the pop-up window.

Step-5: Add the email address of the users

In the final step, all you have to do is type in the email addresses of the users with whom you want to share the presentation, in the “Read” option.

This will ensure that the users can only view the presentation file and not edit it. After that just click on the “OK” button located in the bottom right of the pop-up window.

Now, only the specified users will get permission to view the PowerPoint presentation.

Method 3 – Save the Presentation as a PPS file

Another method to prevent your PowerPoint presentation from editing and thus protecting it is to save the presentation as a PowerPoint Show file or a PPS file.

Saving a presentation as a PPS or PPSX will open the file directly in the presentation show mode when you open the file. Furthermore, when you exit the presentation show mode, the file will close and the user will not be able to access the content on the slides.

To save the presentation as a PPSX file, simply use the file “Save As” option, and choose the “PPS” file format from the “File Format” option.

I’ve written a detailed article on how to use the PPSX file in PowerPoint. If you need the step-by-step guide for the process, click on the link and check out the article for detailed guidance!

Method 4 – Set a Password to Modify PowerPoint  

You can also set a password in order to prevent users from modifying a PowerPoint presentation. This method will prompt a password before opening a presentation.

Although this method will not help if you want to prevent people from editing the file as you will need to provide the password even to view the file. And, once the password is entered, the users will be able to make the changes.

However, this method is super helpful when you want to protect a PowerPoint presentation and prevent it from being access by unintended users.

To set a password to modify your PowerPoint presentation, follow the easy steps given below –

Step-1: Click on the “File” tab

As before, click on the “File” tab in PowerPoint. This will open the backend view in PowerPoint from where you can enable additional settings.

Step-2: Select the “Encrypt with Password” option

The first step is to select the “Encrypt with Password” option from the drop-down menu. It is the 2nd option on the menu.

Step-3: Enter your preferred password

After you select the “Encrypt with Password” option, a pop-up window will appear on your screen. In that pop-up window, type in your preferred password in the “Password” box. After that, click on the “Ok” button.

Once you click on the “OK” button, you will be taken to a new page in the pop-up window.

Step-4: Re-enter the password

Now, all you have to do is to re-enter the password on this page and then select the “OK” button again.

Once done, your PowerPoint presentation will be password protected and users will have to enter the password to access your PowerPoint presentation.

Make PowerPoint Uneditable Permanently? 

In the 4 methods described above, you will be able to prevent or protect your PowerPoint presentation file. More importantly, you will be able to share the PowerPoint presentation with the intended users.

However, if sharing a PowerPoint file is not important, there are other ways in which you can protect your presentation and prevent it from being edited further!

Interestingly, the methods described below will allow you to make a copy of your presentation and make it completely uneditable!

There are 3 ways in which you can make your PowerPoint presentation uneditable permanently.

You can either convert the presentation into a picture or convert it into a PDF file or you can convert it into a video. Let’s take a look at the 3 methods below –

Method 1 – Convert PowerPoint to Picture

The first way to protect your PowerPoint presentation is to convert it to pictures.

To convert your PowerPoint presentation as a picture, you will have to use the “Save As” option from the “File” tab. Simply choose a picture file format from the “File Type” options in the “save as” window.

If you need further guidance on how to carry out this process, check out my other article on how to save PowerPoint as an image for full details.

Method 2 – Convert PowerPoint to a PDF

You can also convert your PowerPoint file to a PDF. This is actually one of the most common methods used when you want to prevent your client or colleague from editing the presentation.

The advantage to save PowerPoint as a PDF over saving it as an image is that when you save your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF file, it is saved all the slides in one file just as the case would be in a presentation.

However, when you save a presentation as a Picture, the slides usually get saved as individual images.

Although the process to save a PowerPoint as a PDF is quite similar to that of saving it as an image, but if you are unsure how to do this, check out our other article on how to convert PowerPoint as PDF that details the process in an easy manner!

Method 3 – Convert PowerPoint to a Video

You can also convert your PowerPoint to a Video in order to protect your PowerPoint file!

If you have a lot of animations in your presentation, and you want to retain the animations when you show it to your colleagues or the audience, but you don’t want them to edit the file, then you can convert the presentation to a video format.

This will allow you to retain the animations, and make the presentation uneditable.

Converting a PowerPoint to a video requires you to use the “Save As” function. However, there are a few additional things that you may need to keep in mind.

Check out our article on how to convert PowerPoint to Video for a full guide with helpful tips.

2. How to Password Protect a PowerPoint Presentation from Opening? 

You can set a password that users will have to enter before they can access your PowerPoint presentation.

The process to password protect a PowerPoint presentation is elaborately explained in method 4 of the previous section of this article. Simply follow the steps explained in the earlier section and you will be able to add a password to your PowerPoint file.

3. How to Remove Password from a PowerPoint Presentation? 

The process of removing the password from a PowerPoint file is quite straightforward. However, it is important to know the password in order to change or remove the password protection in PowerPoint.

Let’s take a look at how to remove a password from a protected PowerPoint presentation –

3a. If You Know the Password

If you remember the password to your PowerPoint presentation, open the PowerPoint file, go to the “Encrypt Presentation” option in the “Info” section of the “File” tab and follow the steps given below.

Step-1: Open the “Encrypt Password” option

The first step is to click on the “File” tab. Then, from the backend view, click on the “Info” option.

Next, click on the “Protect Presentation” option, and from the dropdown, select the “Encrypt with Password” option.

Step-2: Clear the Password from the box

Once you’ve clicked on the “Encrypt Presentation” option, clear the password from the “Password” box.

After you’ve cleared the password, simply hit the “OK” button, located at the bottom right corner of the pop-up window and the password will be removed immediately.

3b. If You Forget the Password

Unfortunately, there is no direct way of removing a password from your PowerPoint file.

To do this, you will have to use third-party software that will unlock the encrypted PowerPoint file for you.

The software that we would recommend is “iSunshare”. It is free to use, and you will be able to unlock more than just PPT files. To download the software from their website, click here.

Credit to cookie_studio (on Freepik) for the featured image of this article (further edited).