Dave, I just got another read-only password-protected Word file from my boss and I’m hoping there’s a way to sidestep the password because he gets really mad every time I ask him to unlock the file and/or send me an unprotected version. I dunno if this is legal, though. Can you even answer this for me?
Okay, everyone who thinks this is illegal, click here and you can go shopping instead. 🙂
Good, we’ve gotten rid of those sticklers and can talk about the relatively simple technique that you can use to sidestep the password protection on a Word file. Is it illegal? I don’t think so, since it’s a document that your boss sent you.
Here’s how you crack the password protected Microsoft Word file:
First, open the document and do a “Save As…” specifying Rich Text Format (RTF). It’ll end up being called something.rtf.
Now open the RTF file by double-clicking on it. It should look identical to the original Word file.
Final step: save the RTF file with a new name as a Microsoft Word format document.
That’s all there is to it. You’ve sidestepped the read-only lock on the file your boss sent you and are good to go.
In terms of actually breaking the password on a file that has it set as the “open file” password, that’s beyond the scope of what I’ll write about here. But I will say that there are some Google searches that can probably help you track down plenty of tips on doing just that.