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How to Edit A Read Only Word Document

“How to edit a read-only word document? I recently received a Docx file from a colleague, but it is read-only, and I cannot edit it. Is there any way possible for me to change a Word document from read-only to read-write?”

The read-only mode on a Word document is enabled to preserve the contents of the file. However, some users can activate the mode accidentally. It will not allow anyone to modify the file as long as the read only mode is functional. Nevertheless, you can convert a Word document from read-only to read/write! Simply follow this guide and understand how to change a Word document from read-only to another mode!

Method 1. Disable Protected View to Edit A Read Only Word Document

The Protected View is a view set available on Microsoft Word to check the contents of the file. If you download any Word file from the internet, the Protected View will prevent you from editing the file immediately, guarding your system against any potential virus threat. Under the Protected View, the editing options will remain disabled.

Here is how to remove read-only from Word by disabling the Protected View:

Step 1. Double-click on the read-only Word document.

Step 2. Click on the Enable Editing option under the MS Word toolbar.

Step 3. You will be able to edit the file instantly!

enable editing on MS Word document

Method 2. Stop Marked as Final Status to Edit A Read Only Word Document

The Marked as Final is a notification from the document’s creator to further discourage other users from editing the file. If the author of the Word file has marked its contents as final, then the document will be considered read-only, and you probably won’t be able to edit it. However, you can still learn how to remove read-only from Word to read/write. The solution is as follows:

Step 1. Open the Word file!

Step 2. On the top of the display, you will receive the following warning:

An author has marked this file as final to discourage editing.

Step 3. Click on the Edit Anyway tab, right next to the notification, and edit the file freely!

Disable marked as final status in Word document

Method 3. Remove Editing Restriction to Edit A Read Only Word Document with Password

Some users can password-protect the Word file, which will make the document restricted, preventing other users from editing it unless they have the password. However, they can easily view the contents of the Word document under the restrictive mode.

Here is how to change Word doc from read-only to the editing mode by disabling the restrictions:

Step 1. Open the MS Word file, and you will be able to view the contents.

Step 2. Head over to the bottom right corner of the display, and click on the Stop Protection tab.

Step 3. A new dialogue box will pop up, asking you to enter the password to disable read-only mode.

Step 4. Press OK, and you will be able to modify the document without any issue!

Remove the restrictions on Word document

Method 4. Remove Editing Restriction to Edit A Read Only Word Document without Password

If your Word file happens to be password-protected, and you do not have access to the correct encryption key, then the best course of action is using PassFab for Word to lift the restrictions! The reliable Word password remover tool can easily remove the restrictions applied on the Word document in no time. You can enable this program on any modern version of Windows.

PassFab for Word offers the following reliable functions:

  • It supports three different yet effective recovery modes.
  • The program is compatible with all versions of MS Word and reads both the Doc & Docx file formats.
  • You can recover the password and remove the restrictions on the Word file!
  • It decrypts the tool at an incredible 40x processing speed!

Get PassFab for Word Now

The first thing you need to do is install PassFab for Word on your Windows PC. After that, follow the instructions below to understand how to edit a read-only Word document:

Step 1: Run PassFab for Word Tool

Double-click on the program’s icon and launch it on your system. Using the interface, select the Remove Word Restrict Editing tab.

Remove editing restriction using PassFab for Word

Step 2: Add Word File to the Interface

Click on the + button to upload the read-only Word file to the software. From there, press the Remove button to start the proceedings

Add the restricted Word document in PassFab for Word

Step 3: Remove Read-Only Restriction

The tool will notify you upon the successful completion of the process. Lastly, click on the Open Folder button to access the Word file and start editing it.

PassFab for Word - Open the word file without Restriction

Method 5. Remove Read Only from Word Document’s Properties

Though the Properties section is used to learn about the details of the documents, you can also change some fundamental settings of the file. In some cases, you can uncheck the read-only mode from the Properties section of the Word document. Here’s how you can perform the activity:

Step 1. Right-click on the Word file and select Properties from the drop-down menu.

Step 2. Once you see the new dialogue box, press the General tab.

Step 3. Next to the Attributes section, uncheck the Read-Only option.

Step 4. Press Apply, and then the OK button to finalize the settings!

Change the Properties settings to remove read only from Word

Method 6. Copy and Paste Content to A New Word Document

If you can view the Word file contents but cannot edit it, you can copy the required text from the restricted file and paste it into a new Word document.

FAQs About Read-only in Word Document

Follow this section for more Word file read-only related queries!

1. What does Read-Only in Word mean?

If you happen to find a read-only document, that mode will prevent you or any other user from modifying its contents. You would have to apply specific techniques to bypass the read-only restrictions to make it read/write.

2. Why is my Word file read-only?

If you happen to find a read-only Word document, it implies that the file’s author has marked the contents as final and doesn’t want anyone to modify it.


See how easy it is to learn how to edit a read only Word document. Each method is convenient, and you do not have to acquire any technical know-how! However, editing could become a serious issue if you happen to find a read-only Word file with restrictions. To open it completely, you need access to the correct password. Still, you can bypass the encryption protocol and enable the editing option by using the reliable PassFab for Word!

Get PassFab for Word Now

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