Microsoft does not offer any services to recover lost Word document passwords. Plus, it does not even provide any information or official methods that users can use to recover their forgotten Word document password. This is disheartening to know when you forget the password of an essential Word document, given you cannot open it or edit it.
But there is no reason to panic. This guide will introduce the four best methods to recover a forgotten Word document password.
Method 1. Recover Forgotten Word Password with A Word Password Recovery
If you forgot the Word document password and want to recover it quickly, a Word password recovery tool is the most effective method. One such tool that stands out for its advanced algorithm and attack types is PassFab for Word.
PassFab for Word uses advanced algorithms and attack types, like Brute Force, Brute-Force with Mask, and Dictionary attack, to recover the lost Word document password. Its simple and user-friendly interface makes it easy for even technophobes to recover the forgotten Word document password. Moreover, it is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Word.
Step 1: Download and Install PassFab for Word.
- Open the software.
- And click on the “Recover Word Open Password” option.
Step 2: Upload the locked Word document.
- Click on the “Add” option to upload the desired locked Word document from your local storage.
Step 3. Choose an Attack Mode.
- After adding the document, you will have to choose an attack mode. PassFab for Word offers three attack modes: Brute Force, Dictionary Attack, and Brute Force with Mask Attack.
- Select the desired attack mode and configure Settings.
Step 4. Start the PassFab for Word process.
- Click on the “Start” button to start unprotecting a Word document. You can see the estimated time required at the bottom.
- You will see the recovered password displayed on the screen once the program identifies the password.
- Copy and use it to open the locked Word document.
By following these simple steps, you can easily recover the forgotten Word document password.
Method 2. Recover Forgotten Word Document Password via VBA
VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a programming language that allows you to automate tasks in Microsoft Office applications, including Word. This means you can use VBA to write a custom code and execute it to recover the document if you forget the Word document password. VBA uses Brute Force method and attempts to break the code systematically.
VBA supports all Microsoft Word versions. However, VBA takes time to recover the Word password, as well as the success of recovery depends on the complexity of the password.
Unlike PassFab for Word, there is also a risk of data loss or file corruption with VBA, so ensure to create a copy of the Word document beforehand.
Here’s how to recover Forgotten Word document password using VBA:
Step 1. Open the password-protected Word document.
- Press “Alt+F11” to access the VBA editor.
- Click on “Insert” and choose “Module.” This will add a new module.
Step 2. Copy and paste the following code into the new module:
Sub PasswordBreaker() 'Breaks worksheet password protection. Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer Dim i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer On Error Resume Next For i = 65 To 66; For j = 65 To 66; For k = 65 To 66 For l = 65 To 66; For m = 65 To 66; For i1 = 65 To 66 For i2 = 65 To 66; For i3 = 65 To 66; For i4 = 65 To 66 For i5 = 65 To 66; For i6 = 65 To 66; For n = 32 To 126 ActiveDocument.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _ Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _ Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n) If ActiveDocument.ProtectionType = wdNoProtection Then MsgBox "Document unprotected successfully", vbInformation, "UnProtection" Exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next End Sub
- Press “F5” to execute the code.
Step 3. Once you execute the code, VBA will start the password-cracking process via brute-force method.
- A message box will appear and inform that the document has been unprotected if VBA successfully cracks the passcode.
- Save the document without a password.
Method 3. Recover Forgotten Word Document Password Online
Even online tools allow you to recover documents if you forgot the Word document password. However, one of the most effective ones is Password-Find.
Password-Find is an online Word recovery tool that utilizes a cloud-based computing system to recover lost Word document passwords. You do not have to download any tool or do anything on your computer to recover the document if you have forgotten your Word password.
Here’s how to recover forgotten Word document password online using Password-Find:
Step 1. Go to the official Password-Find website.
- Click on the “UNPROTECT YOUR FILE” button.
- On the next interface, choose “Browse.” And navigate via File Explorer to upload the locked Word document.
- After uploading the Word document, click the “Next step” button.
Step 2. Select the recovery approach, and choose “Find Password” or “Recover Password” option to start the recovery of the lost Word document password.
Click on the “Next step” button.
Step 3. Enter your email address.
- And add anything that you know about the password, like the number of characters or length, etc. There is no problem if you do not remember anything about the password — leave it blank.
- Click on the “Unprotect” button.
Step 4. On the next page, Password-Find will ask you to wait for the service to recover the lost Word document password. (The recovery time will depend on the complexity of the password).
- Depending on the option you have chosen, Password-Find will either display the Word document password or remove the password of the Word document password.
- Enter the Licence key that you received via email. If you have not bought a license yet, simply click “Buy a license” to know the recovered Word document password.
Password-Find requires you to upload the Word document to their third-party servers, so upload sensitive documents at your own risk. Password-Find is a reputable service; still, when recovering sensitive documents, caution is required.
Method 4. Recover Forgotten Word Document Password Using GuaWord
GuaWord is a command-line utility that can recover forgotten or lost Word document passwords. GuaWord uses brute force attack to attempt every possible password combination to recover the passcode. This means that recovery is guaranteed; however, the process is time-consuming.
It is also important to note that GuaWord is no longer completely free. There are commercial versions, which costs:
- 4 (Quad) client version: it supports up to 4 cores on one GPU client, allowing you to decrypt the Word document password on a local computer. Suitable for individual users, this version costs US$ 29.00.
- 20 clients version: this version allows you to distribute the password recovery process across several computers in a network. It supports 8 CPU scores and 8 GPUs simultaneously and costs US$ 42.95.
- The unlimited version costs US$ 150.00 and allows you to decrypt files within minutes (depending on the number of computers you can use).
There is also a demo version. And the free version v0.9 (which is not recommended by GuaWord — given significant changes since its release).
Here’s how to recover lost Word document password using GuaWord:
Step 1. Go to the official GuaWord website.
- Download the version that best suits your needs.
- And extract the contents of the downloaded archive to a new folder on the local storage. (Copy the path via “Properties”)
Step 2. Open Command Prompt (press Win+R and type “cmd” — then press Enter.)
Type in the following command:
Note: Replace “C:\Users\YourUsername\Downloads\GuaWord” in the above code with the actual path of the extracted GuaWord files.
Step 3. Type in the following command:
Note: Replace the “C:\Users\YourUsername\Documents\Protected.doc” in the above code with the actual path of the password-protected Word document.
And press Enter to run the command.
GuaWord will start recovering the forgotten or lost Word document password once you run the command. Once the GuaWord program find the password, it will display a message saying, “Password for file ‘name.docx” is “password.”
You can use the recovered password to open the password-protected Word document.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Forgotten Word Document Password
1. How can I open a password-protected Word document using the password?
Follow these steps to open a password-protected Word document using the password:
- Double-click on the locked Word document to open it.
- You will see a prompt asking you to enter the password.
- Type in the correct password.
- And press Enter.
2. Can I recover a Word document password without using any software or tools?
No. If you have forgot the Word document password, it is almost impossible to recover it without using any tools or software. As mentioned, the best way to recover a Word document password is to use reliable password-recovery tools like PassFab for Word. Alternatively, you can use other methods recommended in this guide for successful Word document password recovery.
3. How can I remove Word editing restrictions with or without password?
Here’s how to remove Word editing restrictions with the correct password:
- Open the restricted Word document.
- Select “Review” from the menu bar.
- Under Protect, choose “Restrict Editing.” You will now see a “Restrict Editing” pane on the right side.
- Under the Editing Restrictions, uncheck the box next to the “Allow this type of editing in the document” option.
A password box will appear, asking you to enter the password. Type in the correct password and click “OK.”
The Editing Restrictions have now been removed from the Word document. And you can save to remove the Editing Restrictions altogether.
Here’s how to remove Word editing restrictions without the password:
You can use PassFab for Word to remove editing restrictions from your Word document.
- Open PassFab for Word. And choose the “Remove Word Restrict Editing” option on the main interface.
- Choose the “Add” button and upload the restricted Word document from the local storage.
- After uploading the Word document, choose “Start.”
PassFab for Word will remove the editing restrictions from your Word document, and you will see a message saying, “Restrictions are removed successfully.”
Save the unrestricted Word document to a folder on the local storage.
4. How can I recover a Word document password if I only remember a part of the passcode?
Once again, you can use PassFab for Word and choose Brute-Force with Mask attack.
You can customize the Settings and set the parameters (like the part of the password you remember, the length of the password, and so on).
After setting the parameters, click on Recover. And PassFab for Word will identify the password.
If you have forgotten the Word document password, you can use any of the methods recommended in this guide to recover it. The first method, PassFab for Word, is the most straightforward if you are looking for a simple way to recover the Word document password on your computer.
The second method, the VBA, effectively recovers simple passwords; however, there is a risk of data loss or corruption. Password-Find, the third method, requires you to upload the document to a third-party server. If you do not mind sharing the Word document with someone, you can opt for it. Lastly, the GuaWord method is a command-line method suitable only for advanced users for effective recovery.
In all, choose the method that best suits your requirements