Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Protecting Your Revisions.

Protecting Your Revisions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2016)


Word includes the ability to protect your document so that only you can make changes to it without Track Changes being turned on. This can be a great help if you want to make sure you are the only one that can make the "final changes" to a document. To enable this level of protection, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Review tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Protect Document tool within the Protect group if you're using Word 2007 or Word 2010. If you're using Word 2013, click on Restrict Editing in the Protect group. And for Word 2016 users, click on Protect and select Restrict Editing. Word displays the Protect Document pane at the right side of your document.
  3. In the Editing Restrictions section of the pane, choose the Allow Only This Type of Editing In the Document check box. Word enables the drop-down list under the checkbox.
  4. Using the drop-down list, choose Tracked Changes.
  5. Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. Word displays the Start Enforcing Protection dialog box.
  6. Enter a password (twice) in the dialog box.
  7. Click on OK.
  8. Save the file as normal.

When you protect a document in this way, the Track Changes feature is turned on automatically. With this type of protection turned on, people can still load and edit the document. They cannot, however, turn off Track Changes, nor can they make decisions on which changes will be accepted or rejected.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6265) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Protecting Your Revisions.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is 5 + 9?

2016-02-23 17:17:17


A colleague & I tried this out. We found that if the protection is set up in 2010 and sent to someone in 2013, the track changes were not turned on. If done from 2013 to 2010, it worked.

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