How to Password protect AutoCAD drawing

Update: With AutoCAD 2016 and later versions the feature of password protecting AutoCAD files has been disabled because it no longer meets the present security standards. You can open password protected files of older versions using AutoCAD 2016 or any latest version without requiring passwords. For more on this see this page on Autodesk knowledge network.

However, you can use some alternative methods for password protecting files like protecting files using Network permissions, Autodesk 360 or other third party tools. In this article, I have explained password protecting files using WinRAR.

Using WinRAR:

Download WinRAR from this page and install it on your PC. Right click on drawing or select multiple drawings then right click and select add to archive from the contextual menu. Archive name and parameters window will pop up, select general tab and click on set password button as shown in the image below.

password protect AutoCAD drawing

Choose a password and click on OK to close all open windows. You now have drawings in password protected archives.

Using A360:

You can also share files with users without allowing them to copy or modify it in any way using A360 cloud file sharing. To share the read-only drawings upload it on your A360 account and select the share option as shown in the image below.

From share dialogue box select the options as per your requirement like allowing downloads or password protecting drawing link. You can then share this link with users who can view the drawings using their browsers. The recipient can view the drawings and measure different geometric features from the web browser but can’t modify it.

There are also other methods like encrypting CAD files using third-party encryption software but most of them are paid or available as a trial with limited features.

If you have questions related to this tip let me know in the comments below.

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About the Author:

I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce. I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.


  1. Eduardo August 19, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply


    I would like to know if there is any way to protect the entities contained in a drawing so that they can not be edited or copied, without authorization, but that, nevertheless, the rest of the drawing can be edited or changed. That is, to protect specific blocks or layers, but that the drawing can be worked by others, without being able to copy or edit, those blocks or layers..

  2. Saad October 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    I need to protect my CAD files from being copied to anther drive, through flash memory, CD or send out by either internet or Bluetooth without my permission. On Other word, I am looking for features that request/ask authorization (Entering password) for copying or saving my CAD file.

    Please advise what can do to protect my files from being stolen by other users (e.g. CAD Operators)

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