How to Edit A Locked Word Document without Password

When a word document is locked, there is no possible way to access and edit its content unless you know the password. Password-protection is used to restrict access to critical/private documents. However, we will show you a couple of ways to get into a word document locked for editing. This is achievable using the infamous iSunshare Word Password Genius, or you can use the built-in WordPad in Windows. Also, it is possible to access and edit a password-protected word document by changing its extension. All these possible ways are extensively discussed below; read carefully.

Quick note: Most times, when you download word documents online (via websites or email), a minor “Editing” restriction is placed on the document. This restriction is minor and not rigid; all you need do is to click on the “Enable Editing” button, which you’d see at the top of the document, and you’ll be able to edit the word document expressly. However, if the restriction is high or you didn’t see the “Enable Editing” button, then you should try the methods below; they have proven high success rates to let you edit a locked word document without password.

Method 1. Edit a Locked Word Document via WordPad

WordPad practically looks like MS word, the interface of both is similar and nearly the same. Nevertheless, there are many things available in the main client software (Microsoft Word) which you won’t get in WordPad. Well, as regards the purpose of this article, it is possible to use WordPad to edit a protected word document without software. Already, WordPad is pre-installed in all Windows systems. Thus, no prior download is required, simply launch the “Run” prompt by pressing Windows key + R on the keyboard, type WordPad and click Enter on the keyboard.

run wordpad

Steps to Edit Locked Word Document with WordPad:

Step 1: On WordPad, open the protected word document by pressing CTRL + O keys or go to the File drop-down menu and click on “Open.” Also, you can right-click on the word file name and choose open with WordPad. Either way, you need to open the locked word document in WordPad.

open protected word document in wordpad

Step 2: If you could open the locked document in Wordpad, go on, and edit the contents. After editing the contents, click on the “File” menu and choose “Save” or “Save as.” You will be prompted with a warning message; select any option, and save your word document.

Note: this method works excellently when the word document is not password-protected but has some restrictions on editing its contents. If your word document prompts for password entry before it would open, try the method below.

edit restricted word document with wordpad

Method 2: Edit a Locked Word Document with Word Password Recovery

iSunshare Word Password Genius is comprehensive software for opening password-protected word documents. It is a multi-featured utility with many flexible, configurable parameters to help recover and unlock any word document of any format. iSunshare Word Password Genius is the best word password recovery with a very high success rate as recorded by its many users. Also, the software supports .doc and .docx files.

It has a free and paid version; the free version can only work for protected word documents with passwords no longer than three (3) characters/letters. However, if you don’t know the length of the word document password, the paid version is highly recommended. More interestingly, iSunshare Word Password Genius works very fast and has been attested by many people. Furthermore, it supports all versions of MS word up to the latest version (2019).

Get iSunshare Word Password Genius

How to use iSunshare Word Password Genius to edit a locked Word document:

Firstly, you have to download and install the software on your computer before you can use it.

Step 1: After installation, launch iSunshare Word Password Genius and load the protected word document by clicking on the “Open” tab.

edit protected word document without password using iSunshare Word Password Genius

Step 2: Chose a recovery mode to discover the password used in locking the word document. There are four unique modes supported by iSunshare Word Password Genius, and all the modes are highly effective for their purpose. The “Recover Types” supported by this program is “Normal,” “Mask,” “Dictionary,” and “Smart.”

word password genius choose type of attack

Set the recovery mode to “normal” if you don’t know any character used in the password. Also, the normal mode acts like the “brute-force” mode and is practically the most efficient mode.

Step 3: Hit the “Start” button after you have configured the needed parameters. This will trigger the password recovery process, which would get out the password used in protecting a specified word document.

Kindly wait for iSunshare Word Password Genius to complete the recovery process, this can be fast in some cases. However, it depends on the complexity of the word document password. Upon completion, the password of the word document will be shown in a pop-up window with a “Copy” button beside; hit the Copy button to copy the password to the clipboard.

word password genius recovered password

Open the document, and when the prompt to enter a password comes up, type the recovered password to edit the word document.

iSunshare Word Password Genius works in fewer simple steps and more effective than other possible recovery methods. The interface is understandable that everyone who uses the program may not require a guide. Also, it functions faster than other Word Password Recovery software you can get out there.

Method 3: Edit a Locked Word Document by Changing File Extension

It is also possible to edit a restricted word document file by changing the file extension. Well, this method has not pulled a high (recommendable) success rate, but it is something you can still give a try. Interestingly, this method does not require you downloading any software application, it is simply a DIY trick. However, sometimes (especially in Windows 10), the file extension does not appear beside the filename. Thus, if your filenames do not appear with their extension, here’s how to make the extensions appear.

edit locked word document by changing file extension

  • Open the folder where the document file(s) is saved
  • Click on the “View” menu/tab
  • Tick the checkbox beside file name extensions

Now, the file extensions will appear beside your filenames, and you can carry out this method to access restricted word documents.

How to Edit Locked Word Document by Changing the File Extension

Step 1: Visit the folder where the document file is saved, right-click on the filename, and click “Rename.” You can also highlight the file and click on the “Rename” tool at the top of the window.

edit locked word document by changing file extension

Step 2: Now rename the extension from .docx or doc to .zip. While attempting to change the file name, you’ll be prompted with a warning; click “Ok” when you see the warning and continue.

change word document to zip

Step 3: Open the ZIP file (which was the document file) with any archive software such as WinZip, double click on the “Word” folder to open it, then delete the “settings.xml” file inside the “Word” folder.

delete settings xml in word document

After deleting “settings.xml,” go back and rename the folder extension to .docx or .doc (depending on the file’s initial extension). That’s all, you can now edit the word document expressly without restrictions.

Note: This may also not work for some password-protected word documents, and it is not a guaranteed method.


For everyone looking for how to edit a locked word document, these are the feasible methods to achieve what you seek. However, of all these methods, we recommend you use the iSunshare Word Password Genius; it has been attested by many users and has recorded a high success rate for this operation.

  • iSunshare Word Password Genius works perfectly for all your word document cracking needs.
  • WordPad helps when the document is restricted but not protected with password.
  • Change of file extension comes in handy when the word document is also restricted and works for removing password protection, although the latter is not guaranteed.

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