Have you ever come across a locked Word document without knowing who created it? It can be a royal pain if you need to make any modifications. Thankfully, there’s a quick process to disable protection using the Word 2007 format. Follow these steps:
- Rename your document from MyDocument.docx to MyDocument.zip
- Double click that zip archive to open it.
- Find the settings.xml file (within the word directory if you can’t see it right away). Extract it to your Desktop or another place for quick access. Open it in Notepad or another text editor.
- Find the following element in the settings file: <w:documentProtection>. Then strip out the entire thing from start to finish. This might be really long depending on the file, but make sure you get all of it. Ex: <w:documentProtection w:edit=”readOnly” w:enforcement=”1″/>
- Save and close the file.
- Then put the settings.xml file back in the zip archive. Drag and drop worked fine for me here. Make sure to click Yes to any overwrite prompts that appear.
- Rename your document back to MyDocument.docx
- Open it and enjoy your new freedom.