How to Unlock a Word Document - 4 Ways

Since Microsoft Word is one of the most convenient ways to create documents, most people prefer to use it to create even sensitive document. In understanding that sometimes you don’t want the information in the document to be seen or accessed by everyone, Microsoft Word has created a way for you to protect this information: you can assign a password to the Word document.

But those of us who have lost a Microsoft Word password no doubt know, if you lose or misplace the password, you may find it very difficult to open the Word document. If this is the situation you find yourself in, this article will prove very useful to you. In it, we will take a look at how to open a locked Word document as well as unlock Word document for editing.

Part 1. How to Open Locked Word Document

1.1 Open Locked Word Document Using FoneGeek

If you have lost or forgotten the password you used to lock the Word document and can’t access the contents, we recommend using a professional third-party tool - FoneGeek Word Password Recovery to unlock the Word document. This program is developed to help you easily unlock and open the locked Word document without password in a few minutes. It provides 4 attack modes to ensure the highest success rate, allowing you to effectively unlock any Word document. It is very simple to use and works well on Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019.

Here’s how to unlock a locked Word document:

Step 1: Download and install FoneGeek Word Password Recovery on to your computer. Launch the program after installation and then click on “Recover Passwords” in the home interface.

select recover passwords

Step 2: Now tap on the “Add” button to import the locked Word document. Once the file has been imported to the program, you will find 4 different attack modes to choose from. Select an attack mode that you want to use depending on the length and complexity of the password. Click “Next” to continue.

choose attack method

Step 3: The tool will immediately go to work to recover the password for the Word document. Once the recovery process is finished, the recovered password will be displayed on the next window. Click on “Copy” to copy the password and use it to open the locked Word document.

recover word passwords

1.2 Open Locked Word Document without Software

You can use the method below to unlock the Microsoft Word file if you don’t want to install additional third-party software. Please keep in mind that, this method will only work if the password is no longer than 3 characters.

Step 1: Open a new Word document and then press “Alt + F11” on the keyboard. This will open the Microsoft Visual Basic applications window.

Step 2: Click on “Insert” and then select “Module” from the popup menu.

module word

Step 3: Type in the following code into the open Module:

 Sub test()
 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
 Exit Sub
 Line1: i = i + 1
 Resume Line2
 ScreenUpdating = True
 End Sub

Step 4: Press the “F5” button on the keyboard to run the code.

Now find and open the password-protected Word document in Windows File Explorer. The document will open in read-only mode and the password will be displayed on a small box.

1.3 Open Locked Word Document with Online Tool

If you failed to open the locked Word document with above method, you can rely on online services to do that. There are many online tools available to help you unlock a locked Word document, however, you have to upload your Word document to these online tools’ servers and your data privacy/security won’t be protected.

  1. Visit LostMyPass or other online tools you prefer to use.

  2. Drop your locked Word document to it and this online tool will immediately begin the unlocking process.

  3. Once the document is unlocked, click on “Download Unlocked File” to download the document.

lostmypass for word

Part 2. How to Unlock Word Document for Editing

2.1 Unlock Word Document for Editing Using FoneGeek

When a Word document is locked for editing, you will not be able to make any changes to the document unless you have the password for that document. Fortunately, you can still use FoneGeek Word Password Recovery to remove the editing restrictions and make the Word document editable. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Run FoneGeek Word Password Recovery on your computer and here, select “Remove Restrictions” from the main window.

remove word restrictions

Step 2: Add the editing-restricted Word document into the program. You can do that using the “Select a File” option.

Step 3: Now simply click on “Remove” and the program will begin the process of removing any restrictions from the Word document.

remove word restrictions

When the removing process is complete, you should be able to edit the document easily and freely.

remove word restrictions

2.2 Unlock Word Document for Editing with Built-in Feature

You can also remove editing restrictions from a Word document without installing a third-party tool, but keep in mind that you may have to change certain aspects of the document for this method to work. Follow these simple steps below:

Step 1: Open the editing restricted Word document on your computer.

Step 2: Click on “File > Save As” and in the “Save as Type” section, select “Word XML Document (*.xml)”.

save as type xml

Step 3: Close the Word document and then find the .xml file you just created. You can find it in the same location as the Word file. Right-click on it and open it using a TXT editor like Notepad or WordPad.

open xml with notepad

Step 4: Open the “Find” dialogue box by pressing “Ctrl +F” on your keyboard. Type in “enforcement” and you will find either w: enforcement+ “1” or w: enforcement + “on”.


Step 5: Replace the “1” with “0” or the “on” with “off” to remove the password and essentially unlock the Word document.

Step 6: Now save the file and close it. Go back to the folder and right click on the .XML file again, but this time, open it in Microsoft Word.

Step 7: Once the document is open, head to “File > Save As” and then select “Word Document (*.docx) from the “Save as Type” drop-down menu. Here, you can choose to rename the file if you would like to keep the old restricted file.

save word document in docx format

Harley Terry
Tuesday on Sep 29, 2020, 10:16:54 GMT / Post By Harley Terry to Word Password Recovery

Since 2013, Harley Terry has over 7 year' experience in professional Office technology. He has already added more than 200 articles about password recovery for Excel/Word/PowerPoint.

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