none
How can I unlock a protected document if I forgot my password?

    General discussion

  • I have a document that I fount a typing error in; it happens to be password protected. I cannot remember what I used for a password! There doesn't seem to be a security question or password hint step, is there a way to bypass or override the password?  
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:35 PM

All replies

  • Is this a protected form? In that case, just create a new, blank document. Use the Insert File dialog box to bring in the content of the protected document, which can now be edited.
     
    To display the Insert File dialog box in Word 2007 or 2010, click the arrow on the Object button on the Insert tab, and then click Text from File. If you are using Word 2003, click Insert | File.

    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 8:53 PM
  • When I click insert flie, it opens the file but then requests the password to view it.

    Is there any way to remove the password, or bypass the password process?

    it is a very old document and I cannot remember what the password could be. I have tried everything I can think of.

    Thanks

    Monday, June 04, 2012 3:00 AM
  • When I click insert flie, it opens the file but then requests the password to view it.

    Is there any way to remove the password, or bypass the password process?

    it is a very old document and I cannot remember what the password could be. I have tried everything I can think of.

    Thanks


       

    Word doesn't offer a way to circumvent the password to open a document, no.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Monday, June 04, 2012 7:16 AM
  • I found a solution to this issue. If you do a Save As on the document and save it as a file type Word Document (Not the 97-2003 version). This allows you to edit what you need done. Then you can save it back as a 97-2003 version to allow you to relock the document. Hope this helps.

                              

    You can't do Save As on a document you can't open, so I don't understand what you are suggesting, exactly.

    If you are referring to a protected form, inserting it into a new, blank document (as suggested previously in this thread) will work.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014 6:40 PM
  • Same problem!
    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 1:55 PM
  • Same problem!

    Same answer. Password protection for opening/viewing is very strong. It is much stronger in the Ribbon versions than in previous versions. There may be password breaking software on the Internet but it usually requires that you give your credit card information to some website in Russia. I don't think that is a good idea.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 3:29 PM
  • I also need to recover my forgotten MS word password, any help?
    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 8:15 AM
  • I also need to recover my forgotten MS word password, any help?

          

    If you are referring to a password that someone has set to prevent the document from opening, then there is no way to circumvent the password from within Word.


    Stefan Blom, Microsoft Word MVP

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 9:37 AM
  • I also need to recover my forgotten MS word password, any help?

    If you are talking about the program key, contact Microsoft Support.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016 11:17 AM
  • Hi,

    If you mean that once you open up your document, you cannot edit it due to it being password protected, then do the following:

    Save the document as a Word 97-2003 document

    Remove the password

    Save/convert back to the latest version of a word document.

    Should work!

    You can't use SaveAs on a document you cannot open or view.

    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Thursday, May 19, 2016 6:53 PM
  • Save it as 97-2003 document, remove password, save back to 2016. This removes the password.

    You can't use SaveAs on a document you cannot open or view. Note, Microsoft has no interest in helping people get around its document encryption.

    I, too, have been dismayed to find I had locked myself out of a document I created. However, if I can break in to that document, so can anyone else.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Thursday, May 19, 2016 6:53 PM
  • If you password-protected the document so a password is required to open it, there is no way that anyone here can tell you to open it without that password.

    As I said above, you may find some website on the Internet that promises to do it for you. I have not found any that do not want your credit card information. I do not know that any of them work.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Sunday, October 23, 2016 2:47 PM
  • Yep, there is no way to unlock a password protected Word document without the password, unless you remove the encrypted password.

    How to remove the encrypted password?

    For Word 97-2003 document, you can try with the Cocosenor Office Password Remover App that can help to remove Word (*.doc) document password.

    For Word 2007-2016, you can try with the Cocosenor Word Password Tuner program that can help to recover word document protection password if you forgot the password.

    Thursday, February 09, 2017 3:14 AM
  • Yep, there is no way to unlock a password protected Word document without the password, unless you remove the encrypted password.

    How to remove the encrypted password?

    For Word 97-2003 document, you can try with the Cocosenor Office Password Remover App that can help to remove Word (*.doc) document password.

    For Word 2007-2016, you can try with the Cocosenor Word Password Tuner program that can help to recover word document protection password if you forgot the password.

    In this day of ransomware, I guess I would like to see some unbiased reviews before I turn something that sophisticated loose on my computer. I would also like to know more about the company that produces it. I think this is likely spam.

    imJosephs' only posts on his forum have been about passwords and many promote this product. That may simply mean that he is an expert on passwords and felt that was the area in which he can contribute. He has been a forum member for two months.

    How long would it take the program to recover the following password with no parts known?

    xucaoh23pOUAAA<o8*32"AUAPapsach

    If the response is less than 6 months, I would be surprised.

    The sample they post on the website has a password of "123."

    I know nothing of this company or the product. All I find in a Google search is the company's web pages, no reviews outside of those web pages.

    I do not say that it won't work. I do urge caution, use of a prepaid credit card, and possibly running on an isolated computer.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI




    Thursday, February 09, 2017 3:42 AM
  • how do you save the file as anything if you cant open it to begin with ?

    Thank you

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017 4:34 PM
  • need to have file opened to save as. 

    What am i doing wrong ?

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017 4:35 PM
  • You don't. Be aware, too, that no-one here can help with any efforts to bypass security of any kind. Such posts will be deleted and the offenders risk suspension/banning.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017 9:38 PM
  • need to have file opened to save as. 

    What am i doing wrong ?

    If a file is protected by a password to open in versions of Word after Word 2003, and you do not have the password, you should not be able to open it. There is no way known to do it other than impractical brute force. Anyone claiming otherwise is suspect. If you elect to try something be VERY careful.

    By VERY careful I mean use an isolated dedicated computer, one used only for cracking this password that is not connected to the Internet or any other computers. Do not supply bank account or credit card information. Run any resulting file through a good virus checker.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI

    Wednesday, February 15, 2017 2:24 AM
  • Wow that was so simple and I was just about to spend $19 for a program to do it.

    Thank you.
    Tuesday, February 21, 2017 4:51 PM
  • Convert the document to a PDF document then open new PDF version and save it as a Word Document.  Done and done.  This only works for someone that can view the document, but not edit it.  I see that there are a number of posts on this thread regarding the inability to open a document.  This will not help with that problem, it is a completely separate issue.
    Monday, May 08, 2017 9:35 PM
  • One other method. Scan your printed copy using an OCR program and edit the scanned copy.

    Note, this will not give you the same document, but something you can work with. I can usually tell in 20 seconds if a document I open is based on a scanned copy of another document. Such documents are generally much more difficult to edit.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI


    Tuesday, May 09, 2017 11:58 AM
  • What an excellent idea, it worked for me, thanks a ton
    Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:24 PM
  • I just did this in MS Word 2013.

    Save As a new word doc with a new title.  Save As newly retitled doc as a PDF.  Convert PDF back to a Word using adobe pro.  Make any edits! 

    Friday, June 23, 2017 2:06 PM
  • If the document is protected from opening using a password, you cannot use SaveAs to retitle it without having the password.

    Converted documents will always be inferior to a properly formatted native Word formatted document. Period. This is true whether the pdf is created by conversion from Word or by scanning.

    So far as I know, there is no conversion software from Word to pdf that preserves the entire native structure of the Word document. No pdf file contains that structure so conversion to Word will always be an approximation and will often have serious formatting anomalies such as using margin changes when indent changes would be using within Word.

    Conversions are better now than they were, but still far from perfect.


    Charles Kenyon Madison, WI




    Friday, June 23, 2017 4:03 PM
  • Check out the work-around in this link. Basically, you save the Word document as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file. You then edit the document using Notepad, removing the password hash field. Then reload the file, then stop protection. It will not ask you for a password this time. If you want, you can then save the file again as a Word docx or doc file.

    http://www.thinkoholic.com/2015/02/16/remove-unknown-password-protected-word-files/

    Monday, June 26, 2017 6:04 PM
  • Basically, you save the Word document as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file. ...

    You cannot use such an approach when you can't open the file in the first place.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017 2:55 AM
  • Actually you can, just open it notepad, I just opened a doc file, lots of gogble gook in there as well but it does opens and the text is there !

    Well it seems to be a one off, can't repeat it, sorry

    • Edited by mac2403 Wednesday, July 05, 2017 6:35 AM
    Wednesday, July 05, 2017 4:28 AM
  • Aside from the fact the NotePad approach doesn't return any document formatting, pictures, etc., it also doesn't work with the modern Word file formats (docx/m).

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Wednesday, July 05, 2017 4:53 AM