How to Unprotect a Password Protected Word Document

By Emily Ediger

Keeping our files safe is an important part of adapting to modern technology, and passwords are available to protect our computers, files and Internet log-ins. Microsoft Office meets that need by allowing passwords to be placed on its documents. But sometimes our needs change and we no longer need to protect a document, and would rather not have the nuisance of typing the password. Remove the password from a Word Document by accessing the password settings, which are in different locations for Microsoft Word 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Step 1

Open the Word document with the password that was previously set. If you don't have the password, you will not be able to open the document or remove the password.

Step 2

Click on "File" then "Info." Under the "Permissions" area click on "Encrypt with Password" if you are using Microsoft Word 2010. If using Word 2007, click on the circular "Office" button, "Prepare" then the "Encrypt Document" button. In Word 2003 select "Tools," "Options" then "Security."

Step 3

Highlight all characters in the password field and delete them. This removes the password from being prompted at start up. Click on the "OK" button to close window.

Step 4

Save the document. Check to see that the password has been successfully removed. If not, go back to the security settings and try it again, since your changes may not have been saved.

Tips & Warnings

  • Passwords can be set to either open or modify a Word document. If a password is set for both of these options, you must delete both passwords to remove all restrictions.
  • By accessing the password settings in Microsoft Word, you can add, change or remove passwords at any time.