A password-protected Word document is a document that you need to put in the password in order to open and modify. You may choose Read-only to view the document, but you will need the password to unlock it in order to make any changes to it. Here I am going to show you a simple way how to remove password from a Word document even if you don’t know the password to open it first.
Before I start, here is how we normally remove a password from a password-protected document in Microsoft Word.
After opening the document in Word, go to Save As, and click Tools in the Save As window, choose General Option.
And remove password from the Password to Modify box, click OK, and save the document. The newly saved document will have no password protected.
Now, here is how to do it when password is unknown
Just follow these steps:
1. Rename the extension name of the document to Zipping, like as a ZIP compressed file.
2. Double click it and open it in Windows Explorer, navigate to Word folder.
3. Delete the Settings.XML file from the folder. And then close the Window.
4. Rename back to DOCX file.
5. And done. Next time when you open the same document, you will not be prompted by the password window.
How to protect yourself
Wow…that’s kind very scary. So what do I do to properly protect my password-protected files from being cracked like this?
Firstly, while this method works very effectively in both Word 2007 and 2010, it won’t be so much useful to the latest version 2013. The password-protected feature has been removed from this version.
And that means something. From this point on, if you haven’t done so, instead of using Password Protect to safeguard your sensitive documents, use Password Encryption whenever possible. A password-encrypted document is encrypted, instead of just password guarded, therefore, the method mentioned above will no longer work.
Last updated: 12/22/2015