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How to Remove an Unknown Password From a Word Document

Updated April 17, 2017

By adding a password to a Microsoft Word document, you can control who has access to making changes to it as well as the type of changes that they can make, if any. If you have received a password-protected document and need to alter it, or you protected a Word document and then forgot the password, you can remove the unknown password.

Open the password-protected document.

Press the keyboard shortcut "Alt+Shift+F11" to open the script editor.

Go to the "Edit" menu and select "Find." Enter "password" into the "Find What" box and click "Find Next."

Find the line of script containing the words "Unprotect Password." Change the alphanumeric sequence between carats in the middle of the line to zeroes. For example, if the line reads, "7G57N92D" you would change it to "00000000."

Press "Ctrl+S" to save the changes. Close the script editor.

Open a new, blank Word document. Since Word 2007 and 2010 do not provide a script editor, you need to import the information from the password-protected document into a new document without a password in these versions, although the steps work in any version.

Go to the "Insert" tab.

Click on "Object" in the "Text" group. The "Insert Object" dialogue box opens.

Go to the "Create from File" tab. Click the "Browse" button to locate the password-protected Word document. Select the document, click "Insert," and then click "OK." The contents of the document appear in the new document, but with the password removed.

Save the document with a new name. Delete the password-protected version, if desired.

Warning

If the original, password-protected document was created in a template other than "Normal.dot" or has special formatting, this formatting may be lost if you use the second method listed. You need to reapply any formatting desired.

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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.