Microsoft Office on Windows and macOS now supports co-authoring encrypted documents

Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • It's now possible to co-author encrypted Microsoft Office documents.
  • The option is now generally available on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on both Windows and macOS.
  • The same functionality was already available for Office on the web

Microsoft Office on Windows and Mac now supports co-authoring documents encrypted with sensitivity labels. The functionality works with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. The ability to co-author documents protected with encryption has been available in Office on the web since May 2020. Now, it's made its way to the desktop versions of the Office apps.

A Tech Community post explains Microsoft Information Protection (MIP):

Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) is an intelligent, unified, and extensible solution to protect sensitive data across your enterprise – in Microsoft 365 cloud services, on-premises, third-party SaaS applications, and more. MIP provides a unified set of capabilities to know your data, protect your data, and help prevent data loss across Microsoft 365 apps (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook) and services (e.g., Teams, SharePoint, and Exchange).

Now, multiple people can work on these types of documents in real-time with AutoSave.

Microsoft outlines the requirements to use the new functionality:

  • Deploy the 2107 update of Office (or higher) using the Current Channel or Monthly Enterprise Channel. We highly recommend using Configuration Manager and Servicing Profiles to ease this transition
  • If your organization uses Azure Information Protection to apply labels in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows, make sure to also update to the latest version
  • Navigate to the Microsoft 365 Compliance Center settings page as a global admin to enable the feature

To use the feature, all clients need to be updated to support the metadata changes for sensitivity labels.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at