How to Edit a Locked Word Document with/without Password

author_icon Ronnie Barnes time_icon Last updated: Jul 05, 2019 11:31 am tips_icon Word

It is not uncommon to find some restrictions on Word documents. When you receive a read-only word document, you may find that it is hard to make any changes. In fact, every time you try to type over the document, the "Read-Only Dialog box" will pop up reminding you that you are restricted from editing the document.

At the same time, you may also get a fully protected Word document. This is a document that is password-protected and therefore cannot be accessed in any way. You may be able to read a read-only Word document, you will not be able to read a password-protected document, let alone being able to edit it.

Both of these situations can be highly frustrating especially when you really need to edit the document. It therefore becomes necessary to remove these restrictions, enabling you to edit a locked Word document.  How can you realistically edit a locked Word document? Well, the first step would be to remove the restrictions, and in this article, we'll share with you how you can do that.

1. Why Password Protection is Required

If your word document contains some sensitive information that you need to prevent unauthorized access to read or edit, you may need a password applied to the word document. Once the password is added, an error will occur when other people are trying to read or edit the file. It is therefore a secure trick to prevent information leakage. However, it will be very terrible if you forget what the password is. Especially when you are in need to modify or deleted the data in the Word document.

password protect word

2. How to Edit Locked Word Document If There is No Restriction

Sometimes a locked Word document can have no editing restrictions placed on it. In this case, editing the document will be simple. Follow these simple steps to edit a locked Word document without restrictions;

Step 1: Open the locked document in Word on your computer.

Step 2: Click on "File" and then select "Save As".

Step 3: In the Dialog box, change the name of the file and then click "Save" to save it as a new file. Now, open the newly renamed file and it should now be editable.

edit locked word document

3. Unlock Word Document for Editing if There is Edit Restriction

If the steps above fail to make the document accessible, it is likely that the document has editing restrictions. In this case, you should consider the following steps. Below are 3 methods for you to unlock word document for editing. Have a check and choose the best one that you prefer.

3.1 Unlock Word for Editing via WordPad

It is important to follow these steps as laid out below without eliminating a single step. This will guarantee a higher success rate:

Step 1: Locate the document you want to unlock and right-click on it. Hover over the "Open With" option and then choose "WordPad" from the list presented.

open with wordpad

Step 2: WordPad will open the document, allowing you to make any changes you need. Once you have made all the changes you need, save the changes and when WordPad warns you that some of the content may be lost, click on "Save".

edit protected word

You may also have noticed that when you download Word documents from the internet, whether they've been sent to you via email or you get them off a website, they are always restricted. In this case, it is usually a security issue and all you have to do is to click "Enable Editing" at the top of the document and all restrictions will be lifted, allowing you to edit the document.

Give the program a few minutes to recover the password. The time it takes will depend on the attack mode you choose. Once the process is complete, the key will appear on your screen.

You can use this key to access and edit the Word document.

3.2 Edit Locked Word Document without Password

The solutions above can help you gain access to a restricted Word document. But most of the time they are not successful. In the case of WordPad in particular, WordPad may remove some of the formatting and features in the original document which may not be acceptable, especially for documents that are highly sensitive or very official. Lucky for you, we have a much simpler, more effective solution to help you remove any and all restrictions from a Word document.

This solution is known as Passper for Word and it is ideal for removing a password or restriction on any Word document. It can also recover the opening password regardless of its complexity.

  • 100% Success Rate: Remove locked Word document password with 100%  success rate.

  • Shortest Password Removing Time: You can access and edit the locked Word file within only 3 seconds.

  • 100% Reliable: Many professional websites such as 9TO5Mac,  PCWorld,  Techradar have recommended the developer of Passper,  so it is totally safe to use Pasasper tools.

media sites

How to Lift Edit Restrictions on Word Document with Passper for Word

To use Passper for Word to lift any restrictions on a Word document, follow these very simple steps:

Free Downloadfor Win 10/8/7/XP/Vista

Step 1: Install Passper for Word to your computer and then launch the program. On the main window, click on "Remove Restrictions".

choose remove restrictions    

Step 2: Use the "Import File" option to add the protected Word file into the program.

remove word restrictions    

Step 3: While the file is added to Passper for Word, click on "Remove" and the restrictions will be lifted in a few moments.

edit locked word    

Cannot Open Locked Word Document? Recover the Password with Passper for Word

Passper for Word can also be very helpful if the Word document you are trying to edit is protected with an opening password. The program can help you recover a password you have forgotten or even if you simply don't know the password. The program gives you 4 options when you are trying to recover the password for your Word document and will unlock the document with the highest recovery rate. The following is how to use Passper for Word to recover the opening password for Word document:

Free Downloadfor Win 10/8/7/XP/Vista

Step 1: Open the program and then select the "Recover Password" option to initiate the process.


Step 2: Click on the "Add" button to import the password-protected file into Passper for Word.

recover word passwords step2

Once the document is imported, you will see 4 attack modes that can be used to recover the password for the document. Each attack mode is suited to a specific problem. Here's a breakdown of each attack mode to help you determine which one to choose:

Dictionary Attack- This mode uses the provided dictionary library to try all possible combinations of the password and find the right one.

Combination Attack- Different characters including numbers, letters,and symbols that you choose are randomly combined to come up with the password.

Mask Attack- This mode uses any clues you may have about the password to recover it. For example, you may know the first five letters of the password or you may know that there are at least two special characters in the password. This information makes it easier for Passper for Word to find the password in a short time.

Brute Force Attack- This mode is ideal for you if you don't know anything about the missing password. It finds the password by running random combinations without any clues until the right one is found. It can therefore take some time to find the password using this attack mode.

Step 3: Select the type of attack mode you want to use based on how much information you have on the password. Then, click "Recover" button.

The password will be displayed after the recovery process is finished.


3.3 Edit Locked Word Document by Changing File Extension

There is still yet another way to edit a locked Word document: by changing the file extension. This method is simple to use and entails changing the .doc or .docx extension normally associated with Word documents to a .zip file. Here's how to do that in simple steps;

Step 1: Begin by making a copy of the restricted file and then rename the copy of the file from a file extension .docx to .zip.

rename word extension

Step 2: When a warning message pops up, click "Yes" to confirm the action.

change word extension

Step 3: Open the newly created .zip file and open the "Word" folder within it. Here, locate a file named "settings.xml" and delete it.

edit settings

Step 4: Close the window and then rename the file from .zip to .docx.

You should now be able to open the word file and remove any editing restrictions without any problems.

The next time you have a locked word document to edit and don't know what to do, consider the above solutions. Above all else, it may be a good idea to invest in Passper for Word as it can help overcome any restrictions or password protections on any word document. The program is easy to use and will save you a lot of time when you've lost or forgotten your password.


By Ronnie Barnes to Word

Posted on Apr 17, 2019 ( Updated: Jul 05, 2019 )

Ronnie Barnes, a blogger with more than 5-year experience in writing tips about password recovery for Windows and office files.