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6 Ways to Change A Word Document from Read Only

author_icon William Wilson time_icon Last updated: Mar 16, 2023 12:00 am tips_icon Word

"Why is my word document suddenly read only?" This situation always occurs when downloading word documents online or receiving files from friends. If you need to edit or add some texts into the document that has Read-only attribute, you must know how to change a Word document from Read-only to normal first. In this article, we will tell you 6 effective ways to do that.

Method 1: Disable Protected View in Word Document

Protected View is a default view set by your Operating System when you download word documents from the internet. The latest versions of different Microsoft Word shows all downloaded documents as protected files to protect the system including Office 2021, Office 365 and others. To disable protected view from the word document, follow the steps below:

    Step 1: Navigate to the downloaded word document. Select the document and double-click to open it.

    Step 2: Microsoft Word will start soon opening the selected document and you will see a yellow bar on the top of the opened word document. Moreover, all editing options will be disabled and hidden on the Microsoft Word menu.

enable editing

    Step 3: Locate and click on Enable Editing.

Now, the document will reload in a normal view and you will be able to edit the document. Meanwhile appearing all the top menus available to use.

Method 2: Stop Marked as Final Status in Word Document

Another similar type of message appears on the Microsoft Word program when the document is Marked as Final. Marked as Final is a feature used to protect documents when sending or giving access to others to read. So, if you get a file from someone who has enabled Mark as Final before sending it to you, you might end up having a problem to edit the document.

word edit anyway

In this case, double click to open the file and click Edit Anyway from the top of the word document. The Microsoft Word page will refresh and will be editable in a matter of time.

Method 3: Unrestrict A Word Document

Unlike Protected View or Marked as Final, if your document is restricted, it won't allow you to make any changes unless you find a way to unrestrict it. It will also show you the message "You can't make this change because the selection is locked". Here, we have listed the step-by-step guideline and you can follow it to change your word document from Read-only.

    Step 1: To enable the editing or unlock the document, open the document and click the Review tab from the Microsoft word options.

    Step 2: Then click on Restrict Editing from the right side of the Review panel and click on the Stop Protection button.

    Step 3: This will immediately allow you to edit the file. However, if the file is password-protected, a relatively small window will appear to insert the password. Input the same password that was used to protect the document and click OK to unrestrict the Word document.

word stop protection

However, If you can not remember or don't have the password, you can not unrestrict the document. So, what to do now? How to change a word document from read only when it is password protected and you don't have the password? Isn't there any way to do so?

Yes, there is, see Method 4 to know more!

Method 4: Remove Editing Restriction from Word Document without Password

When a word document is password protected and you don't have the password, you can get access to the document using a third-party application. If you are looking for a faster solution that guarantees high success rate, consider using Passper for Word. Passper for Word is a powerful tool that allows you to access locked word documents and remove all restrictions on your word document with ease.

Some Features of Passper for Word are:

  • All kinds of restrictions on your word document can be removed even you know nothing about the correct password.

  • The program uses advanced technology to ensure a 100% success rate.

  • The whole removal process will be finished within seconds with one simple click.

  • The tool has a broad compatibility. It supports Word versions from 97 to 2021, and supports all word file types.

Free Download Buy Now

Follow the steps below to use Passper for Word to change a word document from Read Only to unrestricted:

    Step 1: Once installation, run Passper for Word. Choose Remove Restrictions on the home page of the program.

choose remove restrictions

    Step 2: Click "Select a File" to import your restricted word document.

add word document

    Step 3: After selecting the document you want to remove restrictions, click Remove and the restrictions will soon be removed. You can edit the word document after the process.

successfully remove restrictions

Method 5: Change File's Properties to Remove Read Only

File Properties are generally used to change the default program to open a document, to change the sharing settings, and file customizations. However, using properties, you can also set your documents as protected and remove protection. To do that, follow the steps below:

    Step 1: Select the document you want to remove Read Only protection. Right-click and select Properties.

    Step 2: Uncheck Read-Only from General tab and Apply. Then click OK to finish.

word uncheck read only

At this point, your document will be unrestricted from Read Only protection and allow you to make necessary changes.

Method 6: Copy and Paste to A New Word Document

If you have a text-only document and want to edit or use the text that is protected and doesn't allow you to, you can use this method to make changes to your word document. With this method, you can copy and paste the needed text into a new Word document. However, this does not help to remove read only from the original Word document but makes a new document. Follow the steps below:

    Step 1: Select the file you want to edit and double click to open it.

    Step 2: Select the texts you need and right-click to choose Copy. Or use the Ctrl +A button on the keyboard to select all contents.

    Step 3: Create a new blank Word document and open it.

    Step 4: Then press Ctrl + V button to paste the copied texts into the blank Word document.

    Step 5: Finally, save the new document with your own requirements and changes. Now, you can edit the new word document as you wish.


We use different types of documents every day. Whether you are a student or an entrepreneur, you will end up getting documents from people nearby. While interacting with different types of documents written on different platforms, you will eventually end up seeing Read Only files on your Microsoft Office program. The above solutions tell you how to change a word document from Read Only to a normal document. You can choose one to try.


By William Wilson to Word

Posted on Mar 16, 2023 ( Updated: Mar 16, 2023)

William Wilson, a blogger who is interested in MS Office software. In the past three years, William has been trying to write articles to help people better understand MS Office software.