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February 5, 2013


.docx Edit Restriction Removal

Nothing original here, but I’m all for pointing people to good content when I find it. In this case, it’s how to remove edit restrictions from .docx files. Keep in mind, this won’t help with fully protected documents, but if you need to update a form and can’t find the password, this will help. The steps, clarified by a user in the post comments, are below. Kudos to the original author.

  1. Make a copy of the original document and rename it to have the .zip extension.
  2. Extract .zip file and in the contents find \word\settings.xml.
  3. Edit settings.xml to remove the XML element beginning with “w:documentprotection”. Remove everything including < and > and save the file.
  4. Open the in 7zip
  5. Copy the \word directory with edited xml to the same location in your (overwrite the original \word directory).
  6. Rename to yourformname.docx.
  7. Do a little dance and be happy that this episode of your life is now over.


By Chris Gurley, MCSE, CCNA
Last updated: February 5, 2013

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. James
    Feb 13 2014

    It worked, thanks very much!

  2. Feb 23 2015

    Thank you for the simple tutorial! Worked like magic


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