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You cannot recover a document that is protected with a password if the password is lost in Word

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q290948
For a Microsoft Word 2000 version of this article, see 212135.
For a Microsoft Word 97 version of this article, see 197203.
For a Microsoft Word version of this article, see 84545.
In Microsoft Word, a password-protected document cannot be recovered if the password for that document is lost or forgotten. Microsoft does not offer a service to retrieve documents to which passwords have been added, nor does it offer any information about such services or processes.
The policy described in the "Symptoms" section of this article is intended to prevent any damages to Word users who rely on the security that their passwords provide. To recover a password-protected document, you must remember the assigned password.

Note Remember that passwords are case sensitive. If you used a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters when you set up your password, you must use the same combination when you use the password to access your document. Also, before you type your password, verify that the CAPS LOCK key is not active.
protect protection policy inf WD2002 WD2003

Article ID: 290948 - Last Review: 01/31/2007 19:09:03 - Revision: 2.1

Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition

  • kbpasswords kbhowto kbpolicy KB290948