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 the password in order to open and modify. You may choose Read-only to view the document, but you will still need the password to unlock it to make any changes to it. Here I am going to show you an easy 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 Zipping, like as a ZIP compressed file.


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 protect my password-protected files properly 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.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 07/21/2016

Posted in: Security , Tips & Tricks
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