“I recently locked a Word file for editing, and now I can’t remember the password; how can I unlock this Word document?” Let me show you how.
How to unlock a Word document for editing
In this guide, I’ll show you three easy methods to unlock a Word document locked for editing.
Tip: You can also use the methods below to learn how to edit a locked Word document.
Let’s dive in.
Method 1: Open and Save the Read-Only Word Document as another File
When you open a Word document locked for editing, you receive the prompt, “This document is locked for editing.” Read-Only is always the best option if you have forgotten to change your password.
Then, how do you make it unlock for editing in Read-Only mode? You can only save a Read-Only version of a Word document as a separate file.
Here’s how to unlock a read-only Word document.
1. Open a Word document you want to unlock.
2. On the “Open as read-only” pop-up, click No.
3. Navigate to File > Info.
4. Click the “Protect Document” drop-down arrow and select “Always Open Read-Only” to disable it.
5. Now, you’ll see the read-only warning has disappeared.
6. Then, select Save a Copy from the left pane menu.
7. In the “Save a Copy” window, you must change the File name and select Save.
8. A dialog box will appear, click the “Got it” button to confirm and save your changes.
9. You can now open the saved Word file and edit the content as you wish.
Method 2: Use WordPad to Open the Locked Word Document and Save the Changes
You can use this method to open and edit a locked Word document, regardless of whether it is password protected or has an editing restriction.
Note: If you want to know how to unlock a Word document without a password, follow the steps.
1. Right-click on the locked Word document. Click Open with > choose another app > More apps.
2. Select WordPad from the menu and click OK.
3. The Word document is now unlocked. You are free to edit it in any way you see fit.
4. Click the Save icon from the top left. A dialog box will appear with a warning saying, “Some content might be missing.” You have the option to Save or Save a copy. Then you can read and edit the original content.
Tip: On your keyboard, press Ctrl + S to save the document. If you choose to Save a copy, you can save the current file with a new name and format.
Method 3: One Click to Unlock the Word Document Marked As Final
A Word document marked as final indicates that its editing is complete and its typing, editing, and proofing marks are disabled.
If, after opening the restricted Word document, a yellow warning appears under the ribbon area, as shown in the image below.
In two steps, you can unlock the Word document marked as final. Here’s how.
1. Select the “Edit Anyway” button.
2. On your keyboard, press Ctrl + S to save the changes.