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We have just discovered that none of the passwords on our word documents work any longer, and I need a recommendation of an application that I can use to recover the files.

I believe the files had been created on a windows based computer, so I do not have much of a problem with using a windows based program if required.

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What do you mean by "none of the passwords on our word documents work any longer"? Do the files now open without a password at all, or do they not open with the password you previously assigned? Have the files been modified since you assigned the password to them? – Daniel Aug 29 '11 at 5:45
The latter. docx files won't open when given an expected password. He essentially needs a way to brute force the documents open, or get to the file content without supplying a password. – Jason Salaz Sep 28 '11 at 18:12

This applies to .docx files:

  1. Create a back-up copy of the file
  2. Change the extension from .docx to .zip
  3. Open new .zip file
  4. Extract all files
  5. In the extracted folder, navigate to word\settings.xml
  6. Open settings.xml
  7. Remove the tag w:documentProtection, don't forget to include the < and />
  8. Save file
  9. Copy to modified settings.xml to the actual .zip file (over write)
  10. Rename .zip to .docx
  11. Open file

Microsoft Office 2007 and up are xml files that can be edited if you know what to look for.

I just want to add that I am NOT responsible for what you do with this information. I do believe that knowledge is power and with power comes responsibility.

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protected by Community Jan 13 '15 at 9:55

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