How To Remove Password From Protected Word File in Word 2007 and 2010

A password-protected Word document is a document that you need to put in 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 simply 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.

Word - Remove Password

And remove password from the Password to Modify box, click OK, and save the document. The newly saved document will have no password protected.

Word - Remove password 2

Now, here is how to do it when password is unknown

Just follow these steps:

1. Rename the extension name of the document to ZIP, like as a ZIP compressed file.

image

2. Double click it and open it in Windows Explorer, navigate to Word folder.

Word - Open as a Zip File

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 safe guard 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.

  • Andrey de Oliveira

    “Rename the extension name of the document to ZIP”

    Breaking passwords from Microsoft Office has always been an easy thing to do. Before it took a little more knowledge to do in VB or use a specific program for this.

    But now it’s ridiculous. At least that is the zip file should have password.

  • visitor

    doesn’t work

  • BW

    Doesn’t work because you are not able to open the renamed .zip file

    • http://about.me/kentchen Kent Chen

      Only if the word file is password-encrypted.

      • Emfield

        So how do we remove/recover the password (forgotten) for a password-encrypted file?

  • desperate

    I have having trouble! please help.
    I’ve tried doing the steps above but it isnt working

  • Allemn

    I find another article about how to remove Word password in 2010, what do you think of it? It is from http://www.recoverlostpassword.com/article/remove-word-password-in-word-2010.html

  • Capulet

    Hey, so everything was working fine, but I came up against one slight problem. I renamed the file to .zip, but when I tried to open it, I got the message “the archive is either in unknown format or damaged.” Any ideas?

  • Karen

    Very good article. But I found another article about hwo to remove Word password, what do you think of it? It is in http://www.recoverlostpassword.com/article/remove-word-password-in-word-2010.html

  • Paul D Pruitt

    This still worked with Word 2013 write protection. however you can bypass that I think by just copying and pasting to a new document.

  • John

    Thanks a million – worked like a treat! What a security flaw… no wonder it’s been “fixed” in v2013! Thanks again.

  • Bhavesh

    plz tell me how to do this..i cant understand..plz give me a complete steps..

  • Muneeb

    CAN ANY ONE PLEASE HELP ME TO UNLOCK 2007 WORD DOCUMENT SINCE I FORGOT THE PASSWORD … I BADLY NEED TO RECOVER RECOVER MY 2007 WORD DOCUMENT … CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME OUT FOR THE SAME ….