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

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

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

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.

image thumb1 - How To Remove Password From Protected Word File in Word 2007 and 2010

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

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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.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. “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.

  2. 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?

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

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

  5. 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 ….

  6. wow, great discovery. I have password files from years ago. Thanks for explaining security difference between protected and encrypted!

  7. This does not work for me. After converting my .docx file to zip format the file is getting corrupt and not opening in windows explorer. Please help me.. Urgent!!!!

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