Possible Duplicate:
Can’t edit a specific document in Word 2007

How do I remove the password protection (unprotect) on a Word document if I don't know the password? (i.e. The protection provided by Tools > Unprotect Document)

marked as duplicate by random, alex, fretje, BinaryMisfit Jan 15 '10 at 18:46

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  1. Save the file in Rich text format RTF
  2. Open the file with WordPad
  3. Save the RTF file with a different name
  4. Open the new RTF file with Word
  5. Save the document as a word document
  6. Delete the two rtf files
  • 6
    ...losing almost all formatting in the process. – grawity Jan 15 '10 at 16:36

One possible solution. I think there are others as well.

  1. Open a protected document in MS Word
  2. Save as "Web Page (*.htm; *.html)", close Word
  3. Open html-document in any Text-Editor
  4. Search <w:UnprotectPassword> tag, the line reads something like that: <w:UnprotectPassword>ABCDEF01</w:UnprotectPassword> (password is already in hex-format)
  5. Keep the "password" in mind
  6. Open original document (.doc) with any hex-editor
  7. Search for hex-values of the password, which is stored in reverse order. (e.g. If password is 0xAB 0xCD 0xEF 0x01. Then the password is in the .doc file as 0x01 0xEF 0xCD 0xAB)
  8. Overwrite all 4 double-bytes with 0x00, Save, Close
  9. Open document with MS Word, Select "Tools / Unprotect Document" (password is blank)
  • 3
    Works for me on Word 2007 doc – steampowered Jan 9 '13 at 15:28
  • I can't open the protected document in MS Word because I need the password to open it. If I don't know the password, I don't understand how this can work, and I don't understand the rationale for doing all of this if you already know the password. – Bobort May 10 '17 at 16:10

If you mean the one required to open the document, it depends on which version of Word was used to create it. There are several "Word password remover" programs on the internet, but Word 2003 and later use a much stronger encryption algorithm for which those will not work.

  • Sorry, I meant the protection provided by Tools > Unprotect Document – Rob Wright Jan 15 '10 at 14:46

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