Although there are Office 2013 settings to change how encryption is performed, when you encrypt Open XML Format files (.docx, .xslx, .pptx, and so on) the default values — AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), 128-bit key length, SHA1, and CBC (cipher block chaining) — provide strong encryption and should be fine for most organizations.

Quoted from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179125.aspx . I can't figure out where is the setting to change how encryption is performed.

Is there any possible to change the encryption algorithm being used instead of the default AES-128 ?


2 Answers 2


Before I tell you how, let me first repeat the advice from... everywhere... and say don't. Unless you have a really, really good reason, don't change the encryption settings from the default, because it's going to cause you a lot of headaches, and probably not provide much benefit.

Having said that, the encryption behavior in Office is controlled through the registry, so that's where you need to go.

  1. You can use the Office Customization Tool.
    • The Office Customization Tool (OCT) reference for Office 2013 is here.
      • The OCT is available only with volume licensed versions of Windows Installer-based Office 2013, Office 2010, and the 2007 Office system.
      • The document you quoted in your question is referencing options in the OCT, so that's probably why you can't find them - they're not configured through any particular Office application.

  2. Download and use the Office 2013 Administrative Template files.
  3. You can edit the registry.
    • The registry key that controls the Office encryption settings is: HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Security
      • It's a REG_SZ data type, and the value should be something like: Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider,AES 128,128
        • The formatting of the key value is comma separated values for the cryptographic provider, the encryption algorithm and key length.
      • Changes to this key only take effect if you don't have crypto compatibility mode set (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\\Security\Crypto\CompatMode - a value of 1 means compatibility mode is on, a value of 0 means it's off).

In Access 2013

Under File - Options - Client Settings (scroll to the bottom)...

Encryption Method = Use legacy

  • 3
    This is only a partial answer. OP asked for office (winword.exe, excel.exe, optionally access (only in some versions of office), optionally outlook (also only in some versions of ms office), ...
    – Hennes
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 10:51
  • We accept partial answers on Super User, so long as they identify themselves as such, as this poster has done. Commented May 23, 2017 at 18:55

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