How to Unprotect a Word Document with or without Password

author_icon Ronnie Barnes time_icon Last updated: Oct 15, 2019 03:08 pm tips_icon Word

If you use Microsoft Word a lot, you may already be aware of various options you have in document sharing. A single Word document can be edited by multiple people, with each person's edit clearly marked, making it very easy for users to collaborate on a single project. But as easy as it is to share and collaborate on a Word document, Microsoft has also included features that are meant to restrict the number of people who can collaborate on a document.

You can lock a Word document by setting a lock password so that someone can't access the document. You can also restrict editing on the document, meaning that someone can only read the document but they can't modify it in any way. These protections can be very useful when you want to keep the content of the document private. But sometimes the protections can cause problems for you when you're trying to edit a protected document without knowing the password.

In this article, we are going to share with you the various ways you can do to unprotect word document, a skill that should come in handy if you ever come across a locked or restricted Word document.

unprotect word

Part 1. How to Protect Word Document – 2 Ways

Before we get to the various ways you can to unprotect Word document, let's first take a look at how to protect a Word document. This is a skill that everyone who uses Word will have to grapple with at some point. There are 2 ways to do it and they include:

1.1 Lock a Word Document by Setting an Opening Password

Follow these simple steps to set an opening password for a Word document;

Step 1: Begin by opening the Word document you want to protect and then click on "File > Info".

Step 2: Choose "Protect Document" and you should see a drop-down menu appear with several options.

Step 3: Select "Encrypt with Password" from this drop-down menu.

protect word

Step 4: On the next window that appears, you will be prompted to enter a password of your choice. Make sure that you choose a password you can remember since it won't be recoverable.

encrypt word document

Step 5: When you are happy with the password you have chosen, click on "OK".

Step 6: Re-enter the password when you are prompted to confirm and then click "OK" again.

1.2 Add Restrictions to a Word Document

If you just want to restrict editing on the document, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Open the Word Document you wish to protect and then click on the "Review" tab.

Step 2: Choose "Restrict Editing" under "Review".

Step 3: A new interface will open on the right side of the document. Here, you can choose the actions that you restrict.


Step 4: Close the interface when you're happy with the selections you've made and the document will now be restricted in the areas you've chosen.

Part 2. How to Unprotect Word Document to Open

If you have a Word document that needs a password to be opened. This section deals with how to unprotect Word document with or without password. Let's begin with how to do that if you have the password:

2.1 Via Add-in Feature (Password Required)

If you have the password to a protected Word document, removing this password is a very simple process. Follow these simple steps to do it;

Step 1: Open the Word document that you want to unprotect and then click on "File" and select "Protect Document" under the section marked "Info".

Step 2: In the drop-down menu, select "Encrypt with Password" and then remove the password from the password field. Click "OK".

unprotect word password

This will remove the password from the document, thereby unlocking it.

2.2 Unprotect Word Without Password

If you don't have the password to open the document, you may need a more elaborate way to unprotect the document. Passper for Word is a password recovery tool that is specifically designed to help you recover the password on any Word document. This tool works quickly to help you get a password for any document without affecting the data on the document. To do this effectively, Passper for Word must have a set of features that are specifically designed for this purpose. The following are some of these features;

  • It can be used to recover a password if you've lost the password, don't know the password or you know only a part of the password.

  • Its 4 attack modes allowing you to easily recover any password very quickly regardless of the complexity.

  • You can recover the password in a simple three-step process as we shall see shortly.

  • You can also use it to unlock a restricted Word document, allowing you to edit or even print the document.

Here's how you can use Passper for Word to unprotect a Word document if you don't have the password;

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

Step 1: Install Passper for Word on your computer and then launch the program. On the main window, select "Recover Passwords" since you want to recover the password on the document.


Step 2: Click on "Add" to browse your computer for the protected Word document and open it.

Once the document is open, you need to select one of the 4 attack modes to use when recovering the password. Each if the modes are useful for certain situations. Select the one that corresponds to your needs.

recover word passwords step2

Step 3: Click on "Recover" after you have selected an attack mode and Passper for Word will begin the recovery process.

recover word passwords step3

The process will take a few minutes, but once it is done, you should see the password on the screen. You can then use it to unlock the Word document.

Part 3. Unprotect a Read-Only Word Document for Editing - 2 Ways

If you can open the Word document but you can't edit it, this section deals with how to remove these restrictions, rendering a document editable.

3.1 Remove Edit Restrictions with Password

If you have the password, follow these simple steps to remove restrictions from the Word document;

Step 1: Open the Word document you would want to edit.

Step 2: Now click on the "File" tab and then select "Info > Protect Document".

Step 3: This will open a list of options. Choose the "Restrict editing" option to open the "Restrict Formatting and Editing" section on the left of the document.

restrict edicting

Step 4: Click on the "Stop Protection" button and you will be prompted to enter the password. Click "OK" once you have typed in the password and all restrictions on the document will be lifted.

3.2 Remove Edit Restrictions without Password

If you don't have the password to the restricted Word document, Passper for Word can help. Here's how:

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

Step 1: Open Passper for Word on your computer and then click on "Remove Restrictions".

remove word restrictions step1

Step 2: Click on the "Import File" option to add the restricted Word document into the program.

remove word restrictions step2

Step 3: Once the Word file is open in Passper for Word, click on "Remove" to begin the process.

remove word restrictions step3

In a few seconds, the restrictions on the document will be removed and you will be able to edit the document.

The next time you have a document that is password protected or restricted in one way or another, you now have various options to help you unlock the Word document. If you have forgotten the password, then Passper for Word will be your best choices to unprotect Word document without password.


By Ronnie Barnes to Word

Posted on Apr 28, 2019 ( Updated: Oct 15, 2019 )

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