How do you fix password protection not working in Writer?

Since I updated my stable version of Libre Office to version (x64) recently, I’ve noticed that documents (.odt) which were once password protected no longer have that, often. E.g. prior to updating, when I changed the document, the password protection would function normally. Often now, when I change the document and save it, it just saves it without requiring the password. Because of this, since then, when I save these documents I tick the box to have it be password protected but that isn’t a reliable fix for the problem, as I’ve already done that multiple times.

So, whilst opening the document will require that I enter a password in twice, when I edit the document that requirement for a password no longer functions and the box for saving with a password is unticked, even though since these problems arose, I’ve started ticking that box.

How can you fix this issue?

Maybe I should mention that when I save changes to this document, I make a copy on another USB drive. In the past, I’ve had issues where when I open the document, it’s in Read Only mode for some reason, so I have found the programme buggy in the past, for whatever reason.

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Hi @LibbyLou,

Please have a look at the Getting started guide. We need more information like the LO version(s) and the file format.

How can you fix this issue?

We can’t fix the issue - file a bug report here (if it is not already reported).

I’ve edited my OP to hopefully include enough information. I don’t have a Bugzilla account. Do you really want me to create an account for that site to report this issue? I only have one password protected document. Maybe the bug would work on other file formats too, I don’t know. I’ve just opened that password protected document and it had a padlock on the icon. I did need to use a password. So the programme is working…for the moment.

So is your actual problem this: “When I use Save As on a password-protected document, the Save As dialog does not have the Save with password checkbox checked”? I confirm that this has indeed changed in 7.0 compared to 6.4. I suppose that following the advise and filing a bug is the correct way to go, since that’s the only correct way to inform developers about the user needs and use cases. The change was deliberate, but it could simply not take all consequences and workflows into account.

Having the bug would give you some information anyway: it could be closed NOTABUG, but then it would describe why, so it would be useful in any case.

Do you really want me to create an account for that site to report this issue?

May I ask a counter question: “Do you really expect other users of LibreOffice to open bug reports on your behalf just because you don’t want to create an account for that and thus proving it is not important enough”? It’s completely at your own discretion whether you want your bug fixed or not.

In addition to absolutely great counter question by @anon73440385, I want to add that it is really important that exactly those who have problems do file bugs. It may happen that something would be unclear to triaging, QA or dev people; additional questions about reproducing or intended use cases could arise; and while some such questions may be answered easily by ~anyone, answers to other questions might be only clear to those who actually uses the workflow that became problematic. If e.g. I file the bug for you, I will be unable to answer such questions as “would this workaround / workflow change fit your use case instead?”.

@LibbyLou, I’ve made some trials with the 7.0.5 portable version on Windows 10 and can’t reproduce what you say.

Once I save a password protected document (in .odt), I can make changes and save (no need to re-tick any box), the password remains. When I reopen the file, it asks for the password. Same if I copy the file. If I save as another name, then I’ve to tick the password box again (this change is indeed questionable, but this is another discussion).

As long as you can’t describe the repeatable process that leads to this issue, nobody can help.

Are you sure the files showing this problem are saved in .odt?

I filed a bug report but I’m not sure how well I’ve done that, I got the message: “Bug has been successfully created”.

Hagar Delest, yes, I’m saving to .odt. I’m not using the portable version of Office. The problem occurs after opening the document, which seems to function normally as far as requiring my password, and then saving the document after altering it, in which no password is required (so, when I said that I ticked the box for password protection, that’s what I did when I saw that the document didn’t force me to use a password to save after editing the document. Like I said, doing that doesn’t solve the issue, as the issue just keeps reoccuring). That seems unsafe to me, as a general principle. It didn’t happen with the previous version of the stable suite.

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I haven’t had any feedback on this issue since reporting it on Bugzilla. Is that normal? It’s annoying that the website with LibreOffice in the URL isn’t the one to go to. I’ve had to create a new account for this site, then another one for Bugzilla.

If I haven’t mentioned it already, since the Libre update, on occasion I’ve been able to open a password protected document without a password.

Just looking at the earlier reply here by Mike Kaganski, they described my situation re my save procedure. If what they say is right, it is truly bizarre that Libre would change their system to:

  1. Allow password protected documents to be opened on your computer without a password.

  2. Allow changes to be made on your password protected document without a password.

This means that anybody with access to your computer could read and alter or delete your documents without your knowledge.

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You likely refer to tdf#142147. Yes it’s normal that reports are handled by volunteers as time permits. And also it’s incorrect that what I wrote above means that LibreOffice would “allow password protected documents to be opened (or changed) on your computer without a password”. No, what I wrote was “LibreOffice allows to save a copy of password-protected document, which you successfully opened with correct password, such that the copy would not be password-protected”.

Mike - It looks like my bug report is going nowhere on the other site. All I know is that since I updated to the recent stable version of Office recently, I’ve had issues with the password protection not working as it did in the previous stable version of Office. E.g. opening the password protected document and later saving it on the two USBs in which it is located would require inputting the password twice, for each location, with the previous version.

It’s bizarre that that was no longer occurring and breaks the purpose of password protection for documents. It seems that the people that matter disagree so no one is doing anything about it. If others care about this issue, maybe it might be time to look into Apache OpenOffice as an alternative to Libre.

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This change seems nonsensical and couterintuitive. If a user sets a password on a file the intention is to pretect THE DATA. Writer now silently ignores this when saving THE DATA to a different file name. Do you expect us to have to reset the password by typing the password twice every time we save the file to a different filename? I keep secure data on a stick and same file on the hard drive so I am having to type the password many times in one session. What was the problem this change was intended to fix?