Remove protection from password protected document without password

This is somethings special I discoverd in some spare time.

I once had an Microsoft Word document which was protected by a password. Unfortunately the password was lost and I needed to edit this document.

Here you can read about Microsoft Office Document Protection

But this is how you can remove the protection without password:

  1. Open the Document and save as DOCX. Close Word.
  2. Open the Document and save as RTF. Close Word.
  3. Open the Document and save as DOC. Close Word
  4. Open the Document and choose as filetype DOT but instead of saving the Document you click the menu ‘Tools’ on the left and select ‘General Options’
  5. Select ‘Remove protection’ (you do not need to enter the password)
  6. Save the Document. Close Word
  7. Open the Document again and save as preferred filetype.

The strange thing is that you have to save the document in this very order und must close it after each saving process. This only works with word files, since you cannot save an Excel file as RTF.

I think the information about the password protection gets lost anywhere in the savingprocesses. Maybe Word does not write all the information from the RAM correctly back to disk.

Tested on Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007