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How to Remove Restrict Editing in Word/Excel without Password

For data security, Microsoft Word/Excel user usually sets editing restrictions to protect their document/workbook from editing by others unwanted. What if you forgot the document protection password, how do you stop restrictions? Thankfully, there are a few ways to remove restrict editing in Word/Excel without password. Here we will show you how to remove editing restictions in Office Word 2016/2013/2010/2007 and Excel 2016/2013/2010/2007.

How to remove Editing Restictions from Word Documents without password

Make sure the restricted Word document is a file with the DOCX file extension, the protected Excel file is a file with XLSX extension. If they use the older DOC or XLS file format, it would be best to re-save the file in DOCX or XLSX. Use these steps below, you can easily remove Editing Restrictions from a document.

Step 1: Make a copy of the original document. Rename the extension name from .doc to .zip, like as a ZIP compressed file. You will get a warning dialog. Just click on Yes to confirm that you want to change the extension.

Change file name extension

Step 2: Open this the .ZIP file with Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Open the folder word. Right click on the Settings.xml and select Delete.

delete settings.xml file

Step 4: Close the window and then rename the .ZIP file back to DOCX file.

Now you should be able to open the Excel file to edit it without any restrictions.

How to remove Editing Restrictions Excel without password

If you forgot or lost the workbook or sheet password, as a result, you can’t open and edit your protected excel workbook or sheet. What should you do? Excel worksheet protection is quite weak even in the recent versions of Excel 2016. Here we provide several ways for you, you can also unprotect it with the Workbook Protection Refixer program.

How to remove Workbook and Sheet Protection manually

Step 1: Similarly, make a copy of the original document. Rename the extension name from .xlsx to .zip file, like as a ZIP compressed file. Then, click on Yes to confirm that you want to change the extension.

Rename the extension name

Step 2: Open the ZIP archive with the ZIP software installed on your computer to open the ZIP archive.

Open XL folder

Then click xl folder, you would see there are two kinds of xml files, sheet.xml and workbook.xml in the zip archive.

  • sheet.xml: It includes protection password on sheets.
  • workbook.xml: It includes protection password on workbook structure and windows.

To remove worksbook protection password, here's how:

1. Right click the workbook.xml in folder\xl\ and choose Open with Notepad.

Remove Workbook Protection password tag

2. In the openning Notepad, look for workbookProtection. Remove the "workbookProtection" tag from xml file and then press Ctrl+S to save this changes.

Remove Workbook protection

3. Click Update Zip file with changes when prompted

Update sheet1.xml file in ZIP archive

4. Now Workbook Protection was removed and you can edit workbook structure and windows without any restriictions.

To remove editing restrictions from Sheet, here's how:

1. Select to edit sheet.xml in location of\xl\worksheets\.
2. Then right click on the sheet1.xml file and select open it with Notepad.
3. Find the SheetProtection password tag and remove it.

Remore Sheet protection

4. Save and close the sheet1.xml file. Update the modified sheet1.xml file in ZIP archive when prompted.
5. Close the ZIP archive. Change the .zip extension back to .xlsx. Now the editing restrictions have been removed. Open the Excel document and you can edit the cells without any password and restrictions.

Conclusion: As you can see, it’s easy to remove restrict editing in Word or Excel even without password. All what you need are the ZIP software and a bit of IT knowledge. However, If you think the above method is cumbersome and difficult for you, don’t worry. We have a Workbook Protection Refixer product, which can instantly remove Excel sheet protection with just one click, so that you can edit your Excel sheet without any restrictions.

How to remove protection from Excel Workbook and Sheet at once

Workbook Protection Refixer is a really powerful software that can not only instantly remove workbook protection, it can also help you unprotect worksheet by clear its password, if there are sheets locked. It can also help you remove read-only password. In a word, it helps remove all editing restrictions instantly with several clicks. Here's how it works:

1. Download Workbook Protection Refixer and install it onto your computer.

Free Trial

2. Launch this program. Click Open to add Excel file to this software, then click Remove Password button.

Remove protection

3. The Excel sheet protection passwordworkbook protection password, and Readonly Password are removed at once.

Remove workbook/sheet protection

4. The original Excel workbook is saved as an unprotected Excel workbook in the same location. You can delete the original, protected workbook, if you want to.

Unprotected Excel workbook


1. The trial version of Workbook Protection Refixer only helps to detect the forgotten password, but won't remove it. The protected file can be completely unprotected in the registered version only. If necessary, order the full version.

2. If your Excel file is in (*.xls) format on Excel 97-2003, you need to convert it to (*.xlsx) format first. You can open the (*.xls) excel file with Excel 2007 or higher edition, and then save it as (*xlsx) Excel file.