I have a Microsoft .docx document that is locked down and can't even be viewed without the forgotten password.
I'm wondering if there is an easy way to unlock it or get the computer to remember the password itself with a hint or something.
DocX is a compressed zip container file. Make a copy of the original docx file. If you unzip it, there is a subfolder named
Within that there is a block of text:
You can either change w:enforcement value to 0 or remove the block entirely.
Then you zip up the whole thing again (don't zip up the whole folder: the
From this link: http://people.csail.mit.edu/seth/misc/unlockworddoc.html
Mac users: ExtendScript Toolkit works well as a text editor in this workaround.
MS Word has used 128-bit AES encryption since Office 2007 so no, there's no easy way to unlock it.
If think your password is simple enough or vunerable to a dictionary attack, you could try one of the various password cracking apps available (caveat downloader).
It's trivial to remove the Edit protection from Word documents by editing 'settings.xml' within the compressed .docx file as discussed in other answers here. However, as you have applied 'Encrypt with Password' to require a password to open the document, that method won't be available.
Which OS and version of Word? If messing about with XMLs and text editors is not your cup of tea, in Word 2010 for Windows at least you can remove all restrictions, passwords, final locks etc. from
Also make sure the file is not set to Read-only (close Word, right-click the file, check
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