If you want unlimited editorial rights to a read-only PowerPoint presentation, you need to unlock it. The good news is that you can open it with a few simple clicks. Here’s how.

Unlock presentation read-only

There are two ways to determine if a presentation is a read-only file. The first is if you see the words «Read Only» after the title of the presentation. Secondly, if you see a yellow message bar at the top of the presentation with a message saying that access to the document is restricted.

Next to the yellow banner message there will be an «Edit Anyway» button. Click this button to unlock PowerPoint.

Edit anyway

The yellow bar should disappear along with the Read Only text that appeared after the presentation title. Your PowerPoint will now be editable.

title of the presentation

As they say, there are several ways to cook an egg. The same applies to unlocking a presentation. While this method involves a few extra steps, we wouldn’t be real fans if we didn’t show you how.

First, open a read-only presentation and select the File tab.

Select the

You will be taken to the Information menu. Here you will see that the «Protect Presentation» option is marked in yellow, with a message displayed next to it — the presentation has been marked as final, which prevents editing. Go ahead and select «Protect Presentation».

protect presentation

From the submenu, select Mark as final. By clicking on this button, you can remove the lock.

Mark as final

You will now see the yellow banner and accompanying message next to the «Protect Presentation» option disappear. The «Read Only» text next to the presentation title also disappears.

unlocked presentation

Why make PowerPoint read-only?

A presentation can be blocked for any of several good reasons. For starters, people use it mainly to discourage editing; they simply alert recipients that the presentation they received is the final version provided by the original author. The read-only status can also prevent accidental changes caused by human error.

Making a presentation read-only is more polite than asking people not to edit it, as it is a real measure to protect your content. However, it’s worth taking extra steps to let people know you don’t want to edit your content.

How to make PowerPoint read-only

Now that we know how to unlock a PowerPoint presentation and why it was most likely locked, here’s how to turn read-only access back on.

Open the presentation you want to make read-only and select the File tab.

File Tab

You will then be in the «Information» menu. Select «Protect Presentation» to open the drop-down menu. Click «Mark as Final».

protect presentation

A dialog box will then appear informing you that the presentation will be marked as final and saved. Click OK.

Microsoft Warning

Now, when you send a presentation, it displays a «Marked as Final» message bar, notifying recipients that the presentation is read-only.

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