How to edit a locked Word document

By Techwalla Contributor

Need to edit a Microsoft Word document and find that it is locked and you can't change it. I will show you a few things that might fix a locked word document problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word

Step 1

If a document was encrypted in Microsoft Word then you won't be able to edit it without a password. Word documents protected for forms are not totally secure. You may not be able to simply discover the password, but you can easily remove it using the script editor or by using another method shown in this article. Open the document in Word then press ALT+SHIFT + F11. The document will then be opened in a script editor and will look like this:

Step 2

From the edit menu - select FIND and search for the word 'password'

Step 3

The search will take you to the part of the word document where the password is stored -

Step 4

The part you need to notice is the unique sequence of digits in the middle of that line,right after the password indicator.w:UnprotectPassword 5F23E53C /w:UnprotectPassword Note: If you may need to replace the original password later, make a note of the sequence of digits before overwriting with zeros.Overwrite the digits with zeros.w:UnprotectPassword 00000000 w:UnprotectPassword

Step 5

Save the document from the script editor. Close the editor and you can unlock the fields without the original password from the forms toolbar.This method only works on versions before Word 2007. Word 2007 has no script editor.

Step 6

For Word 2007 and others:An different method that will also work in Microsoft Word 2007 (and also in earlier versions, but without the possibility of restoring the original unknown password) is to open a new blank document then insert the form into that document.Word versions before 2007 - Insert > File

Step 7

In Word 2007 - Insert tab - Object > Text from File

Step 8

This will create a copy of the form without copy protection, it may also alter the form structure and things may no longer appear as they did before especially if it was a different form or version of word that it was created in. You might be able to change it to make it look close to the original document.