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Chris L.
Chris L., Support Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
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i have an old word document that i stupidly put a password

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i have an old word document that i stupidly put a password XXXXX and now i have no idea what it is. is there anyway i can get it opened?
Hello and thank you for using Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you.

I am sorry to hear you forgot the password, please try the following to open it.

First you need to make sure you unhide file extensions. To do this in windows 7 or Vista Open Folder Options by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking Appearance and Personalization, and then clicking Folder Options.

Click the View tab, and then, under Advanced settings,clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box, and then click OK.

To show file extensions in windows XP, first open any folder on your hard drive, such as "My Computer" or "My Documents." Then select Tools and choose folder options.

When the Folder Options window opens, click the View tab. This will show the file and folder view settings.

Uncheck the box "Hide extensions for known file types." a click apply and OK.

Now that you have done that do the following to recover the document.

1. Right-click on the file you have forgot the password XXXXX

2. Click 'Rename'

3. Rename the file to recovered.rtf

4. The file should now have a new name and a new type. It is now a Rich Text File instead of a Word file.

5. Right-click on recovered.rtf and hover the mouse over "Open With".

6. Pick WordPad.

The file should now open up for you in WordPad. You won't have all of the styling you had before, but now you can copy and paste the text into a new Word document and re-style it however you want.

The most important part is to make sure you rename the file with the .rtf file extension.

If you still need help, please do not mark poor or bad service, instead just Reply back and let me know, we'll continue right away!

Thank You
Chris L. and other Microsoft Office Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it opened but its all gobblydegook
Now in wordpad try going to file save as, choose a new file name and change save type as to doc or docx and see if you can open it in word.

Let me know how that goes.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
got this error msg.....This error message can appear for several reasons.
The document may be corrupt or damaged. Use either the Recover Text converter or the Open and Repair feature. Both are available from the Open dialog.
NOTE: If you have opened a file that is attached to an e-mail message, it is recommended that you save the file to a local hard disk first before attempting to recover or repair the file.
The Open and Repair feature is available from the Open dialog box. To open and attempt a repair, click the File tab, click Open, and then navigate to the damaged file and click it once. Instead of clicking the Open button at the bottom right of the dialog box, click the down arrow to the right of the button and select Open and Repair from the menu. If the file can be recovered, it will open and appear in the document work area.
The Recover Text converter is available from the Open dialog box and appears in the Files of type drop down list. It appears in the drop-down list as: Recover Text from Any File (*.*).
The Recover Text converter has its limitations. Document formatting is lost, along with anything that is not formatted as text. Graphics, fields, drawing objects, and so on, are not converted. However, headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, and field text are retained as simple text.
File permissions may be set so that you cannot access the file (read denied). It is also possible that you do not have permissions to open anything within the drive or folder that contains the file. In this case, contact the owner of the drive or folder and request permissions to access the file.
It is possible that you have run out of system resources (disk space or RAM), or that another program on your system has consumed all the available memory. It is also possible for a program to have a memory leak that is using up large quantities of memory. The best method to recover memory that has been consumed by a memory leak is to restart the computer. It may be possible to shut down the offending program by using the Task Manager, but it is not recommended since it may further destabilize the system.
There may be a read lock on the file that you are attempting to open. Another user may have the file open, or another application that has a link to the file may have placed an exclusive lock on the file, preventing Word from opening the file. If a custom application has opened the file, it may have opened the file using an incorrect method.
The file that you are attempting to open may require a file converter that is not installed on your computer. Most converters are installed by default, but optional converters are available from the Add or Remove Programs utility (in Control Panel) for your version of Office (requires performing an advanced customization install and searching the feature tree for Office Shared Features \ Converters and Filters). Other converters are available from the Office Resource Kit. Search the Web site for "Office Converter Pack".
For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 918429.
Ok on the document you renamed recovered.rtf try right clicking and choose open with and choose word.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
no, same msg
Same thing meaning prompting for password XXXXX error?

Also when you say it was all "gobblydegook" in wordpad do you mean none of the document text was there?

As I said originally you would lose formatting but the text of the document should be there?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ÓLçõ®iÂ<ãTù87™!¶°³•¬H<Å,ayŠ[îÌ*= ½°‡_‘[I!Lúd8Õ½XÔk„s)y4|‡_±R¿Ø:nŒ$«šlÈ怗Zm&Ï ?-´´
E1:ébíN^Kj_n ø¨úŸªD‡ºoݹ[#(<HñGžLÀŽëKþÜcñTâ¬ÓŸVy%
Allright we are going to need to crack the password.

1. Rename the document recovered.rtf back to recovered.doc

2. Click this link to download the program:

3. Open the crackit utility, a small box will open, select your document and click the crack it button. The software will run and attempt to crack the password XXXXX you.

Please let me know how that goes, I will be offline for about 45 minutes and can reply to you then if you need more help.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok, took a couple of goes saying it couldnt open but now its thinking about it
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the msg box says it can take days for passwords of 7 characters or more, guess i better leave the computer on
Yes it may take awhile if you had an especially long password XXXXX letters and numbers.

If it is easier for you, you can upload the document to this website

Once you do it will give you a download link, give me the download link and I will work on the document for you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Is this the original or the one you saved from wordpad? Remember when I asked you to save the one from wordpad I said " choose a new file name" as to not overwrite the original.

Please give me the original one that you first re-named to recovered.rtf

Also which version of word are you using, 2003, 2007, 2010?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
word starter 2010 i have office home and student family pack 2010 that i havent installed yet
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i think i done a big boo boo, it was called chapters [i think] i reckon i didnt go 'save as' but just changed the file name to recovered.doc as thats what is left in the folder now
Sorry for the delay I was offline for a bit.

It sounds like you may have overwrote it. It seems like you opened it in wordpad and saved the same file over the original, this would be a big boo boo unfortunately.

I spent a good amount of time today trying to make something readable out of the doc you sent me with little success, was able to get a sentence and that is about it.

Was this file originally prompting for a password XXXXX coming up with an error about permissions? It may have been corrupt from the beginning.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it asked for a password, iknew i had password XXXXX that file and one other which i havent touched yet, i am at work now and wont be home till about 8pm [11hrs from now] is there anyway to fix the first file at all ? been thnking about what i did i reckon i highlighted the name of the file and changed it to that recover tfr one def didnt do 'save as' is that what i should have done?
There is a much better chance of me being able to fix it if you can find a copy of the original.

Just to be clear when I said to save the file from word pad and choose a new file name this was to make sure you did not overwrite the original. If you had done this you would end up with two copies.

When you get back home have a look and see if you can locate the original one or if there are any others that may be it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok many thanks get back to you tonght (-:
You are very welcome. Just so you know I am I am in the US EST time zone, it is 9pm here.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes i noticed thats why i metnioned my times thankyou
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hello, not sure if your still awake, guess what i didnt move my file i copied it from a backup to the computer, totally forgot, stressed this week! so i have the original on an external drive i have copied it to this computer as is and am also going to load the home office 2010 so my program is more modern. i await to hear from you
That is great that you have a back up! Feel free to upload it and I will get around the password XXXXX you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago. one.doc

ps i am installing office now
Thank You. I have to catch a train, I also have a full time job. I will look at this when I get to my office in about 45 minutes.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
GREAT no worries thanks
Just got to the office, starting on this now, will sort it out and get back to you as soon as possible.

Also if you had to guess the password XXXXX it have contained all lower case letters or upper case letters and numbers?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i thought it was IloveNed or IloveNedLloyd so capitals and lower case dont think any numbers but so long ago could be anything sorry
No problem, that will help to have a rough idea. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX back to you soon.

Just wanted to let you know I am running multiple programs on this file but it is taking time. From what you said the password XXXXX be like 8 characters or more so it will be awhile. I am confident though that I can get this document recovered so don't worry, we will need to be patient though.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
many thanks
You are welcome, still working on it by the way. You really put a strong password XXXXX this! If it was short I would've got it in a few minutes.

No worries I will get it unlocked for you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hahha sorry i seem to be a difficult customer
No, I have had much more difficult, you are nice.

I get a bit aggressive with computer problems and can't let them go to I am successful!

I am running a brute force attack on this document on two machines as we speak!

You just relax and hopefully soon you will have a message from me with your unlocked document. I am looking forward to that.

I hope you enjoy your weekend Smile
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thanks, XXXXX XXXXX the pantry yuk, then paperwork ...even more yuk
Make sure you take some time to do something fun.
How is my favorite customer today?

So, after running 2 brute force attacks on this document all day/night I realized that your password is too complex and it would take days or weeks to crack.

Did I give up? Heck no!

I purchased a commercial decrypting software and got you your document!

Here it is! one-decrypted2.doc

Thank you for your patience with this.

Have a look and let me know if everything is good.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OMG you are amazing thankyou so much, did you find out what my password was? thankyou so much chris
No I never was able to get the password, it must have been long (like over 8 characters) and contained upper and lower case letters.

I was using two different brute force password crackers. This means the program basically runs through every possible combination of the characters until it finds the password. I have had success with this method in the past on short passwords like 5 characters or less it can usually crack in minutes.

In this case my best guess is it would've taken days or even weeks.

So I invested in a commercial grade decrypter program which instead of cracking the password it removes the password and decrypts the document completely so no password required.

Promise me in the future you will never use a long password on a word doc! For a word doc I suggest you keep it simple, long passwords that are complex are great for email accounts and things like that. Since word has no password reset feature you are out of luck if you forget it. It is much easier to crack if it is 4 characters or so.

I am very happy I could help, if you ever need me in the future you can reach me directly here:

Have a great day/night.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
HAHAHAHAHAH OK I Promise lol I will keep your link your a GEM thanks again
You are very welcome!

Take Care
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Nighty night
Night Night.

P.S. The site forces me to have the last reply on any question.

Have some good sleep.

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