4 Best Free Tools for Recovering a Word Password

Free word password recovery, remover, and unlocker tools for Windows

A Word password recovery program (also called a Word password remover, password unlocker, or password cracker, depending on its ability) is a software tool that can be used to either discover or remove the security on a Microsoft Word file that prevents you from opening or changing it.

Most of these programs fall into one of three categories:

  • They recover the Word document open password
  • They remove the Word document open password
  • They remove or recover the Word edit restrictions password

The large majority of password recovery programs are shareware tools that then charge money before providing the password. However, there are a few freeware password recovery, remover, and cracker programs, the best of which we've listed here.

Person using a password recovery tool
Lifewire / Maritsa Patrinos

The only legal use of a Word password recovery program is to remove the security on a Word file that you have the permission to do so on, like a DOC file or DOCX file that you set a password on but later forgot.

01
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Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard

Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard in Windows XP
What We Like
  • Walks you through an easy-to-use wizard.

  • Installs quickly.

  • Works with Excel files, too.

What We Don't Like
  • Limits how long the password can be.

  • Lacks support for the newest file format.

  • The setup file is inside a ZIP archive.

Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard is easily the best free Word password recovery tool available right now, assuming your goal is to recover the actual password needed to open the file.

Only Word document open passwords are recovered with this tool. It won't remove, unlock, or crack a Word edit/modify restriction password. It uses a brute force recovery method but can also use a dictionary attack if you have a dictionary file.

This program only works with MS Word 97-2003 documents, not the newer DOCX format used by default in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and newer Word versions. Nor does it work with DOC files created in these versions. The maximum password length that can be recovered is 8 characters.

In our tests, Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard recovered a four-character document open password on a DOC file in just a few seconds. However, we knew the characters involved in the Word password and how long the password was, so we customized the brute force settings accordingly. If you don't know the characters used or the length of the password, then the process could take much longer.

This program should work on Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

02
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Word Password Recovery Master

Word Password Recovery Master
What We Like
  • Really easy to use.

  • Includes features not found in similar programs.

What We Don't Like
  • Its primary selling points don't actually work.

  • Severely limited in some ways.

Word Password Recovery Master is another free Word document cracker that can remove the document open password and recover the document edit password.

Despite the features that the program claims to have, during our tests, it wouldn't crack Word 2007-2013 document open passwords. Document open passwords can only be recovered if the file was created in Word 2003 or older.

Modify passwords can be cracked in those file versions, too, but only if it isn't longer than three characters.

We used a document open password of six characters on a DOC file created in Word 2003, and Word Password Recovery Master removed it in less than 20 seconds. It did this by making a copy of the file without the password so that we could open it.

We also set a 3-character modify password on a 2003 DOC file and the program found that password instantly because it wasn't encrypted.

You can install this tool in all versions of Windows, from Windows XP through Windows 10.

03
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CrackIt!

CrackIt!
What We Like
  • Very straightforward and not confusing to use.

  • Has multiple password recovery options.

  • Doesn't need to be installed (it's portable).

What We Don't Like
  • Hasn't been updated in many years.

CrackIt! is another excellent free Word password recovery tool. It works much like Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard only with many fewer options, making the password cracking process very easy.

To use this one, just select an alphabet (choose the largest one if you're not sure) and then let CrackIt! recover the Word password.

It recovered our four-character Word document open password on a DOC file in just a few seconds. It's said to work with Word 97 and 2000 files only, but the file it cracked in our test was a Word 2003 file.

CrackIt! was originally designed for Windows 95/98 but we had no problem making it work in Windows 10 through Windows XP.

04
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GuaWord

GuaWord password cracker in Windows 10
What We Like
  • Works regardless of the password length.

  • Very minimal with no extra, confusing options.

What We Don't Like
  • Takes a long time to run.

  • Supports older file formats only.

  • Has no graphical user interface.

GuaWord, technically Guaranteed Word Decrypter, is a freeware Word password remover program that "guarantees" the removal of the document open Word password no matter what the length.

It can guarantee this because it actually decrypts the password directly instead of attacking the file with endless character combinations. However, because of this never-fail strategy, this version of the program usually takes around 10 days on a fast computer to remove the Word password. Yes, you read that correctly—10 days.

It won't work on Word files with encryption higher than 40-bit or with passwords in French. It's equally ineffective with DOCX files, nor will it crack or remove Word passwords for restricting editing.

To be safe when using this program, make a copy of the DOC file and let GuaWord crack the copied one.

Due to the time involved, we didn't test GuaWord all the way to the successful removal of the password. We did, however, make sure that the program is free and usable and should work if you choose to use it over another free Word password tool here.

GuaWord is a command-line tool; use it by dragging the Word document directly onto the "guaword.exe" file. It should work on both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows, including Windows 10 (where we tested it).

There Are Only 4 Free Word Password Recovery Programs?

There might be more but these are all we could find. Most commercial Word password crackers cost from $15 USD to $100 USD, some more. Many of these tools offer "free" demos or trial versions but they all have some sort of limiting feature like a maximum 3 character password limit. There aren't a lot of 3 character Word passwords out there so we didn't include very many programs like that in this list.