How to password protect your iWork documents

Apple recently updated its iWork suite of apps and services to include password protecting specific documents.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple on Thursday released updates for Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. The update included a bug fixes and feature enhancements to the iOS, OS X, and iCloud.com versions of the apps.

One such feature included in the update was the ability to password protect specific documents. By adding an extra layer of protection to a document with a password, it ensures sensitive information will only be viewed by those it's meant for.

Adding a password to an iWork document -- no matter the platform -- is extremely simple, taking just a few taps or clicks.

Setting a password on iOS

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Using any of the iWork iOS or Mac apps you can set a password by opening the respective document you'd like to set a password for, tapping on the settings icon (the wrench), and selecting "Set Password."

Enter your desired password in both fields, along with a hint should you forget your password down the road. Going forward, any time you want to access the document you'll either need to enter the password, or set the iOS app to remember the password for you. The setting for a password to be remembered on one device is specific to that device; it will not sync across your other iOS or iCloud connected devices.

Setting a password on iCloud.com

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The process on iCloud.com is similar to that of the iOS and Mac apps. You'll need to login to your iCloud account and navigate to the beta iWork app and launch the document you want to set a password for. By clicking on the settings icon (again, a wrench) and selecting "Set Password."

Enter the requested information and set the password.

Setting a password on OS X

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

For some reason, setting a password for a document using any of the iWork apps on a Mac is a bit different. Instead of opening the document you want to protect and clicking on the wrench icon, you have to click on File in the toolbar, followed by "Set Password." Alternatively, you can select the Share icon, then "View Share Settings" and set a password by selecting "Add Password."

Speaking of sharing a document, Apple now allows for password-protected iWork documents to be shared using an iCloud.com link. Any changes made to an iCloud shared document, either by yourself, or by someone else with access to the document, will sync across all devices.

Should you export and share a document without using an iCloud.com link, any changes made by the recipient(s) will not sync across your devices and you'll have to resort to the old-fashioned method of sending files back and forth to track changes.