How to unlock a word document

Quick Disclaimer: Crack responsibly. Don't break any laws. You're responsible for your actions.

Easiest solution is to try out one of the paid and convenient password crackers already listed here (or a quick google search would reveal).

If you want to learn some new skills and tools you might try John the Ripper which is an open source password cracker. In this blog the basic steps are well described.

A short rundown of what you're about to do is:

  1. Have John the Ripper and Python runtime installed (or just use Kali Linux possibly on a USB stick. Always good do have this around for some security testing).
  2. With the python script you rip out the password hash from the office file
  3. Configure John (or use the standard wordlist) on how to brute force the password hash (if you remember parts or other details of your password it will reduce the cracking time) and give it a go.
  4. John will try out possible variations and provides you the password that worked on the hash.

For a beginner that's a small project by itself and you can learn quite a bit.


Rather than installing a software to recover your document, I would recommend using an online cracking service such as docucrack. Other options are to guess passwords manually or write you own program to make it easier guessing many password.


Open a new file by selecting new form MS office button. Paste the copied contents in the new file. Go to the review section and hit the protection tab. Move over to the "Restrict editing and formatting pane" and click "Stop protection".


I think there are password crackers out there (if you search after "microsoft word password recovery" or "microsoft word password crack") which uses brute force to attempt to crack your password. Most of these software are not free.

Other than that I don't know any other way (never happened to need this).
You can try to open it with OpenOffice/LibreOffice or another package which can open MS Word documents and see if they still asks for the password (most possibly they will but doesn't hurt to try).
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