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How to Unprotect Word Document 2016 without Knowing Password

If an author has encrypted a Word 2016 document with password or restricted editing in a Word document 2016 with password set, how can you unprotect the Word 2016 document without knowing the password? Now this page will give you the answer.

Tips: This page is not, of course, to encourage malicious access to someone else’s Word document without the owner’s permission. It aims at helping those who want to unprotect an encrypted or Editing-restricted Word document but forgot or lost the password.


Section 1: Unprotect encrypted Word document 2016 without knowing password

The idea is to reveal the current password on this document by using one specialized tool, and then use the password to unprotect the encrypted Word document.

Step 1: Reveal password on Word document 2016

1. Get Word Password Refixer tool or Office Password Refixer tool installed on your computer. Then launch it.

2. Add encrypted Word file path into the software.

Add encrypted Word file path

Tips: Click on Open. Then in the Open File dialog, navigate to the path to the encrypted Word 2016 document you want to unprotect, select it and click Open to add its file path into the software.

3. Select one password attack type by clicking the drop-down button starting with Brute-force, and set relevant parameters if necessarey.

Select attack type

Tips: Generally, if you know something about the password, selecting Mask or Dictionary attack can make the tool perform a higher performance on password recovery.

4. Click Start to start discovering password.

5. Once password is revealed, click on Copy followed by Open.

Word 2016 password is revealed

6. After the Word 2016 document starts, paste the password to open it.

Step 2: Unprotect Word 2016 document

1. Click File -> Info tab and then click on Protect Document -> Encrypt with Password.

Click Encrypt with Password

2. In the Encrypt Document dialog box, delete the password and click OK.

3. Press Ctrl + S to save this Word 2016 document, and it can be unprotected. Then next time you can open the Word document without password required.

Section 2: Unprotect editing-restricted Word 2016 document without password

When a Word 2016 document is editing restricted with password set but you don’t know the password, you still can clear the password and unprotect the document. Do as follows.

Step 1: Open the Word 2016 document that is restricted editing with password set. Then click File -> Save As and choose one folder to save this document.

Step 2: In the Save As dialog, click the drop-down button next to Save as type, select Rich Text Format (*.rtf), and click Save to save this Word 2016 document in .rtf format.

Save .docx in .rtf format

Step 3: Close the current document.

Step 4: Right click on the *.rtf document and select Open with -> Notepad to open it in a Notepad.

Open .rtf file in Notepad

Step 5: In the notepad file, press Ctrl + F to bring up the Find dialog box. Then type passwordhash and click Find Next. Then it will immediately find and highlight the passwordhash word. Delete the string that follows (The string may be very long and it ends until you see a "}") so that the password that restricts editing can be cleared. Then Press Ctrl + S to save this notepad. Then close it.

Find passwordhash and delete the string that follows

Step 6: Re-open the *.rtf document with Microsoft Word.

Step 7: Select Review tab and then click Protect -> Restrict Editing.

Step 8: Then click on Stop Protection and without any password required you can remove restrict editing from this Word document 2016 and successfully unprotect the document.

Click Stop Protection

Step 9: Save this *.rtf document as .docx document, and you're done.