You can finally open password-protected Office files in Windows Phone 8.1 Update, but...

Microsoft recently released the latest version of its mobile OS, Windows Phone 8.1 Update, to early adopters on its Preview for Developers program, and details of what the update will include have been extensively documented. One feature that hasn't been widely noted yet, but which appears to be a new addition with 8.1 Update, can be found in Office. 

In Windows Phone 8 and 8.1, if someone sends you a password-protected Microsoft Office document, and you attempt to open it on your handset, you'll get an error message telling you that such files "can't be opened" on your device. 

However, as Softpedia notes, if you open such a file in Windows Phone 8.1 Update, you'll now be presented with the facility to enter your password and gain access to open the file. 

We confirmed this for ourselves, by attempting to open password-protected Word and Excel files on Windows Phone handsets - on a Lumia 930 running Windows Phone 8.1 (build 12397), none of the files would open; on a Lumia 1520 running 8.1 Update (build 14147), the password screen appeared and we were able to open the files. 

Take note, however, that we were only able to open the files, not to edit them. For now, password authentication seems to afford you read-only access and nothing more on Windows Phone 8.1 Update, so if you want to edit a protected file, you'll still have to find another device that's up to the task. 

Source: Softpedia / Reddit 

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8 Comments

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This is great. I can go back to password protecting a few of my spreadsheets, which I stopped doing because I couldn't open them on my phone. I never understood why this wasn't built into the mobile Office from the beginning.

There were rumors of standalone office apps for WP.
Perhaps MS is working on a feature rich WP office alongside the metro RT version.

eddman said,
There were rumors of standalone office apps for WP.
Perhaps MS is working on a feature rich WP office alongside the metro RT version.

yup! should be an universal app, when it wil be ready will be available for win8/rt and wp8

It's not an issue that you can't edit them. Who edits a password protected file in the first place, let alone,on your smartphone.

Studio384 said,
It's not an issue that you can't edit them. Who edits a password protected file in the first place, let alone,on your smartphone.

Actually it is an issue:the fact that the file is pw protected does not necessarily imply that the receiver is not allowed, or required, to modify it or add comments on it.