One of the best ways, and surely the most popular method of protecting files, is assigning them passwords, and documents created with Microsoft Word are not an exception. If you have a contract, business plan, or any other sensitive document, you can set passwords using MS Word. Passwords keep the file locked and secured until you unlock it to view or modify the document.
To unlock the Word file, you are required to enter the preset password. Without the password, the content of your Word document stays protected from unauthorized persons. Using the password is one method to unlock the MS Word document. However, in some situations where you forgot the exact password and need to access this file, there are walkarounds on how to unlock Word document without password. Here, we will go through the best ways to unlock Word file with and without the password.
The document was probably locked with a password for sound reasons. When you decide that you no longer need to protect the Word document, the unlocking is straightforward. It was encrypted with a password, and so, if you have that password, you can unlock your Word document easily following the guide below.
For unlocking Word documents using a password, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for all Word versions. So, here, we will go through how to unlock Word document made in Microsoft 2007 and earlier, as well as MS Word 2010 and above.
For MS Word 2007 and below:
Step 1: Launch a Word document to begin.
Step 2: Click the “Office” button.
Step 3: Next, save the MS Word file by clicking the “Save As” button.
Step 4: Click the “Tool” menu.
Step 5: Select “General Options.”
Step 6: Click “Password to open.”
Here, you can now input the password to unprotect the MS Word document to view, copy, modify, or delete it.
For MS Word 2010 and above:
Step 1: Launch MS Word document.
Step 2: Navigate to the “File” menu.
Step 3: Click “Protect Document.”
Step 4: Click “Encrypt with Password” from the dropdown.
Step 5: Enter the password and hit OK to unlock the Word document.
Here, you can now input the password to unlock the MS Word document to view, copy, modify, or delete it.
Unlocking Word documents with a password is the ideal method for gaining access to a protected Word file. However, that would only be possible if you know the password used for protecting the document. Attempting to unlock Word file without password is a different ball game. Thankfully, it is possible, but only if you follow the steps here as closely as possible. To be safest, you can make a backup or copy of your MS Word document so that you do not lose it if the operation does not go as planned.
If you do not have the password for the encrypted MS Word document, the first method we will treat here is by modifying the details of the file.
Guide to unlock Microsoft Word document via modifying the details
Step 1: Open the encrypted Word document. Next, click the “File” tab and hit “Save As.” Save the file as an XML file by choosing “Word XML Document” from the dropdown below the “File Name” field.
Step 2: Close the document and locate it with File Explorer. Next, right-click on the file and open it with a text editor of your choice. I recommend WordPad. This is where we modify the details.
Step 3: Press “CTRL + F” to search for a line in the open file. CTRL + F opens the search box. Type “Enforcement” and hit “Enter” to find the following line – w: enforcement=”1”
Step 4: When you locate the line above, change “1” to “0” and save and close the file.
Step 5: Finally, open the file again; this time, open it with MS Word. Click the “File” menu button and use the “Save As” option to save the file in the .docx format.
If you are not comfortable modifying code or want a simpler method, then you have the option to unlock Word file without password by making use of a professional software called PassFab for Word. This is a wonderful Word Password Remover that takes control of the entire unlocking operation. Despite the edition of MS Word with which the document was created/encrypted, PassFab for Word will crack the password and hand it over to you in a blink. Before showing you how to unlock Word document using PassFab for Word, below are some of the selling points that should convince you of its awesomeness.Free Trial
How to unlock Microsoft Word using PassFab for Word:
Step 1: Launch PassFab for Word.
First, you have to download the program and install it on your computer. Next, launch it.
Step 2: Select the appropriate password attack type.
Import the encrypted Word file into PassFab for Word. To do this, click on the “Add” button.
You need to select a password attack mode to proceed, so here is a brief overview of the various modes:
Step 3: Unlock Microsoft Word document.
Now that you have imported the Word file and chosen a password attack, you are all set to perform the unlocking. Click on “Start” for PassFab for Word to do its magic. The time the unlocking operation takes depends on the complexity of the password as well as the password attack you choose. In the end, PassFab for Word displays your password on the screen. You can now click “Copy” to copy it to your clipboard.
In this method, we will learn how to unlock Word document without password by converting it to an unprotected document using VBA code. This is a delicate process, so I advise that you back up the file first if something goes wrong. Below is how to unlock Word document using VBA code.
Guide to unlock Microsoft Word document via VBA code:
Step 1: Open the Word document and then open Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications by pressing ALT + F11.
Step 2: Navigate to Insert > Module. There, enter the code below, and then press “F5” to run it:
Dim i As Long
i = 0
Dim FileName As String
FileName = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogOpen).SelectedItems(1)
ScreenUpdating = False
Line2: On Error GoTo Line1
Documents.Open FileName, , True, , i & ""
MsgBox "Password is " & i
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
Line1: i = i + 1
ScreenUpdating = True
Step 3: Go back and open the protected file and wait for a few seconds. You will get a prompt with the recovered password boldly shown in it. Take note of this password and hit the “OK” button.
Step 4: Open the document, and click the “File” menu. Click “Protect Document,” and then hit “Encrypt With Password.”
Step 5: Finally, from the password field, delete all the text there and click “OK.”
You have now successfully unlocked Word document without a password using VBA code.
This tutorial covered how to unlock Word document. Ideally, having the password simplifies the entire process, but without the password, things begin to get interesting. Personally, I am a big fan of PassFab for Word, but the other methods are also okay if you do not mind modifying code.Free Trial