Introduction: Remove Office 2003 Protection Password

Have you ever had a word document that was horribly formatted but the document is password protected?
Have you ever needed to edit word document but it is password protected?

I have had to deal with many word documents that were either horribly formatted or needed some form of editing but document was protected by a password.

This instructable will show you one way to remove reset a password on a Office 2003 document.

(This instructable bypasses a step that is widely published)

Step 1: Getting Annoyed.

For demonstration purposes I made a blank word document and placed a password on it.

Step 2: Getting Back Your Sanitity

Download a Hexeditor. Google for a free one. I use Cygnus Hex Editor.

1. Open your hex editor and load the document with password on it.
2. Scroll down (most likely near the bottom of all the lines) for a description of the document.

I have found that the password is usually after "Symbol" and "Times New Roman" "Arial" (as shown in the picture.)

Another thing I have found to be very common with the location of the password is the password is followed by an exclamation point (!).

The exclamation point has the numerical value of 21 in the Hex Editor.

Here the password is represent by E9 EE C3 55

Step 3: Removing the Password.

The password, regardless of how many characters the password actually is, will be 8 alpha-numerical values in the Hex editor.

Simply place your cursor before the first letter or number that is 8 places to the left of 21, (only count the numbers or letters NOT SPACES). Now, just press zero eight times. Doing so will delete the password.

SAVE and close the hexeditor ( which usually prompts you to save the changes).

Open the document as normal and make the changes you want to make. You now can even add your own password.

(There is another which involves an additional step, if you have password protected document, click TOOLS>Macro>Microsoft Script Editor, Once the script editor is open search the script for "password" that will script that looks like this


Here the zeros, represent the zeros I put in, otherwise you would see a series of alpha-numerics. Using the eight letters/numbers you find, reverse search for those same number using the hexeditor. I have made this instructable simply because now a step can be skipped, and not everyone has scripted editor.)