Looking at an open MS Word document on your computer that’s password locked and unsure what to do? You’ve come to the right place. Removing a password from a Word document is mostly a straightforward process. For the most part, it depends on the type of password-locked the document is. Then, if you know the original password (whether you made the document or your colleague told you the password), you can easily remove the password from the document. But what happens if you forget your password or have no access to where it is written? In that case, removing a password from the original Word document might be harder. But don’t worry. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about password protecting Word documents and what to do, whether you know the password or not. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- 2 Ways Word Documents Can Be Password Locked (Type of Locks)
- How to Remove Document Lock Password From A Word File When You Know The Password
- 6 Ways To Remove A Password From a Word Document When You Don’t Know the Password
- Method 1. Use a Word Document Password Remover
- Method 2. Rename the Locked Word File
- Method 3. Change the Word File Text Format To RTF
- Method 4. Use Wordpad To Save The Document
- Method 5. Save The Word Document As A New File
- Method 6. Remove Word Document Password Online
2 Ways Word Documents Can Be Password Locked (Type of Locks)
Before removing the password protection on a document, you should know what type of restriction was placed on it. There are two primary ways a Word document can be locked. A Word document can be locked with a full document lock and a read-only protection. Here’s what this means.
Full document Lock
After saving a document and you add a password to it by using the Protect Document option, it means you added the complete document protection. This protection prevents external users from viewing and editing if they do not have the password. If you do have the password though, you can easily remove the full document lock from the Word document. We’ll cover how to remove a full document lock if you know the password below. For example, your colleague sends you a Word file with a full document lock and the noted password. If you don’t want to have to write the password each time you open the file, you can simply remove the lock for that document on your computer.
When you save a document with a read-only lock, this means other users can read the Word document but they can’t edit it. In other words, the user can still open the document to view it, but they cannot alter its content. The protection you add will depend on why you want to lock the document. This article focuses on how to open a full document lock. Now, let’s take a look at how to remove each kind of password protection from your Word documents.
How to Remove Document Lock Password From A Word File When You Know The Password
If you do not want to keep entering the password to a locked Word document every time you open the document, follow these simple steps:
- Open the locked Word document.
- Input the Password.
- Click on File > Info > Protect document > Encrypt with Password.
- It will show the password box, clear the password and select Ok.
6 Ways To Remove A Password From a Word Document When You Don’t Know the Password
When unlocking a document without the password, you can either remove the password to view the file or edit the document depending on the form of password protection added to the document. Now, here’s a disclaimer: If you don’t know the password to a document, chances are, you might not be authorized to view it. However, if you simply forgot the password and/or you can’t get it from your colleague for some reason, here are a couple of potential methods you can use to “unlock” the password-secured Word doc.
Method 1. Use a Word Document Password Remover
A password remover will help you unlock your document within a few minutes. These are a few reliable password removers to use
- Passfab — Removes password from a locked Word document by using a brute force attack on it. In other words, it’ll try to “guess” the password for you.
- Passper Word Password remover — Uses advanced technology to get the document’s password and unlock it.
- GuaWord — Does not attack the locked document; instead, it decrypts the password and attempts to unlock the document that way.
You can use many more password removers, and they all have their strengths. You can download the one suitable for your use. After downloading any of the passwords removers, follow these steps to use;
- Open the password remover on your computer.
- Click on Remove restrictions.
- Click on the + sign to add the locked document.
- After it has been added, select Remove, and the document will be unlocked.
The new document will be without a password or restriction. Keep in mind this is not a guaranteed way to unlock a Word document and you should NOT be attempting to unlock documents you’re not authorized to view.
Method 2. Rename the Locked Word File
You can remove the password from a locked document by renaming the document. Even though the process is a bit complicated, you can attempt it this way:
- Open the locked document’s file location.
- Change the name of the document from .doc or .docx to .zip
3. After it has been modified to a zip file, open the zip file with Windows Explorer. 4. In the resulting folder, you will find a file with the title setting.xml; delete this file. 5. You can then change the folder’s name back to .doc or Docx. 6. The file will be open to view and edit.
Method 3. Change the Word File Text Format To RTF
If the Word document was locked to prevent editing, changing the text format to Rich Text format can possibly remove the password. However, this can only work if you are using Microsoft Office Pro 2010. Here’s how you can attempt this method:
- Open your locked document with Microsoft Office pro.
- Click on Save as type and change it to Rich Text Format (.rtf).
- Click on save.
4. Open the newly saved document with Notepad. 5. Press Ctrl + F, and it will bring a Find tab. 6. Type in ‘passwordhash’ and change it to no password. 7. Click on Save. 8. Open the new file with Microsoft Word. 9. After the file is opened in Microsoft Word, click on Review Tab>Restrict editing> Stop protection and untick all the boxes by the right. Finally, the password should be removed, and you can then change the file format back to .doc or .docx.
Method 4. Use Wordpad To Save The Document
You can also use Wordpad to edit a locked document, but you should make a copy of the document in case you experience data loss. Here are the steps:
- Right-click on the locked file you want to unlock, click on Open with, and select Wordpad from the options shown.
- The document will be opened on Wordpad, and you can make the necessary edits.
- Click on Save changes; Wordpad will warn that some of the content that can’t be displayed will be lost; click on Save, or you can save a copy just in case.
Try opening the Word doc after. If this method didn’t work however, you can also try the following:
Method 5. Save The Word Document As A New File
This technique can only be used if the document is protected by a password to modify. If you want to edit without the password, follow these steps: Click on the locked document to open it in MS Word, and a box will pop out for you to enter the password. Click on the Read-only Option.
- When the document opens, click on file> Save as.
- In the resulting pop-out box, change the file name and save it.
- The newly saved file should then be viewable and editable.
Keep in mind this only works if you can open your Word doc with read-only.
Method 6. Remove Word Document Password Online
Finally, if all else fails, you can attempt removing your Word doc password online. An online website that offers password removal will allow you to view and edit the locked document. You can get this feature for free on some of these online websites we’ve covered above (Passfab, Passper Word Password remover, GuaWord, etc.). But there are quite a few similar tools that offer this service. They can also attempt to unlock different document formats like DOC, PDF, ODT, DOTX, and so on. The process will most likely involve uploading your document to their site and letting their tool do all the work. However, keep in mind that uploading an important, confidential work document to a strange password-remover website is not the best privacy and safety practice. Additionally, we cannot comment on the safety of these tools. Attempt to do so only after doing your own research, if you’re authorized to view the document in the first place, and there is no other way to unlock the document (i.e. password on a sticky note, from a colleague, etc.).
To sum up, if a document is locked, there must be a good reason for that. So, if a document is not yours, you should seek permission from the owner to prevent infringement of their rights and privacy and avoid being sued. If there’s a read-only lock or a full-document lock, you can simply remove the added security from your computer for added convenience. But if for one reason or another you somehow forgot the password and you can’t find it anywhere else, you can attempt using the above methods to unlock it. Even then, you might lose some data or content. So, the next time you’re dealing with password-locked documents, make sure you exercise caution and follow the best safety practices! You’ve just finished your novel. You don’t want anyone to read it yet including your family members, so you add a strong password to protect the document. A few weeks later, you go back to that document, but every password you try doesn’t seem to work. These passwords are used on a regular basis and the only explanation is that you forgot word document password or added another character and changed the sequence of the password. You begin to be in a panic, the book is nearly 100,000 words long and you can’t imagine having to sit down and write it again. Before worrying that your months of writing may become a total loss, read on. In this article, we are going to share with you several ways to recover a forgotten Word password.
Part 1. Can You Recover a Forgotten Word Document Password?
It is easy to be skeptical about whether or not you can recover the forgotten password for Word document. Even Microsoft says that you can’t although as a caveat, Microsoft does say that there are several programs and online tools you can use to recover the password, they just don’t recommend them. In this article, we ask you to keep an open mind to the possibility of recovering the forgotten password. Some or all of the methods discussed here have worked for others and may very well work for you.
Part 2. Four Ways to Recover Forgotten Word Password
The following are some of the ways to recover forgotten Microsoft word password if you are on a budget:
1. Unlock Word Document via GuaWord
If you are running an older version of MS Word, you can try to use a program called GuaWord. This free method uses the command line so there is no UI but it can get past any password. Once you have installed the program on to your computer, you should see the instructions on how to run the command line in a file called «readme.txt». Limitations of This Method:
- It can take up to 10 days to unlock the Word document and even then the decryption is not guaranteed.
- It only works for older versions of Word document.
2. Recover Forgotten Word Password Online
There is a wide range of online tools that all offer you the service to recover forgotten Word password. While these online tools can work, many are not reliable in that the whole process could take a while and many are not free. You will need to pay for the service before you can even verify that the password has been removed. There are also a lot of issues with choosing to use an online tool to recover a password. One of these is the security of your document. You don’t have control over the servers you upload the document to and they could choose if they wanted to, to share this document with other online users. If the document is of a sensitive nature, this may not be the ideal solution. The other disadvantage of using online tools is that it may take up to several weeks to get the password. In this time, you don’t know who gets to see your document or how many times the document is shared online to sites that will actually pay money to see the content on your document.
3. Forgot Word Password? How to Recover Word Password with a Premium Tool
While all the methods above do offer a level of success when trying to recover forgotten Word password, you may want a different solution that is easy to use and guarantees a 100% recovery rate. If you want a solution that will not waste your time with endless tries or weeks of waiting for your password to be recovered, you may want to choose Passper Word Password Unlocker. Passper Word Password Unlocker is specifically designed to make it easier for you to recover any password of any length, no matter how complex it is. To do that, Passper employs the following very useful features:
- Unlock Word document password to open and password to modify. All types of passwords could be unlocked.
- Based on 4 customized attack modes, the recovery time can be greatly shortened and the success rate is the highest on the market.
- By using Passper for Word, your data security is 100% guaranteed.
- The recovery status will be saved to short the whole recovery progress.
- It is very easy to use as we shall see in the tutorial that follows. You don’t require any skills or knowledge to use the program.
How to Recover Opening Password for Word Document with Passper To use Passper to recover your lost Word document opening password, download and install the program on to your computer and then follow these simple steps: Free DownloadFor Win 10/8/7/XP/Vista Step 1: Open Passper Word Password Unlocker on your computer and then choose «Recover Passwords» option to begin the recovery process. Step 2: Now add the document to the program. To do that, simply click on «Add» and then browse for the password-protected document on your computer. Once the document is open, you should see 4 separate attack modes, each designed to help you recover your password under different circumstances. Select the one you want to use depending on your own situation. Step 3: The program will begin recovering the password as soon as you click on «Recover». The process could take a few minutes depending on the attack mode chosen. Once it is complete, the password will be displayed on the screen. You can then use the password to open the Word document. Remove Edit or Print Restrictions on Word with Passper You also get a chance to remove restrictions
set on Word files with Passper tool. And it can 100% remove all restrictions. Free DownloadFor Win 10/8/7/XP/Vista Step 1: To edit a read-only Word document, you will need to click ‘Remove Restrictions‘ tab on this program’s main interface. Step 2: Choose the Word file that you need to remove the restrictions and add it to the program. Then click on ‘Remove’ button. Step 3: The removing progress will be completed in 3 seconds.
4. Recover Forgotten Word Document Password via VBA (Difficult)
If the online solution doesn’t seem viable to you, you can use Microsoft’s own VBA codes to access and crack the password. VBA codes are usually found in the Microsoft Visual Basic Editor in Excel and Word document and are aimed at automating various tasks on the document. To use VBA code to recover Word document password, follow these very simple steps: Step 1: Open a blank Word document on your computer and then press «Alt + F11» to access the MS Visual Basic for Application feature. Step 2: Click on the «Insert» tab and in the drop-down menu that appears, select «Module». Step 3: On the next page, enter the VBA code and then hit «F5» on your keyboard to immediately run the code. Step 4: Now open the locked Word file and load it on the program screen. A password recovery process will commence in the background using the VBA code. Once the process is complete, use the password recovered to open the Word document. Limitations of This Method:
- It is very complex for most users compared with the other 3 methods.
- It doesn’t support the new versions of Word document.
- This method won’t be workable if your password is longer than 3 characters.
Of all the methods we’ve described above, Passper Word Password Unlocker presents the only viable and most effective way to recover the forgotten password. You never have to worry about the safety of the document since it will remain on your computer and you are free to use the program to recover any password on a later date should you need to.
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