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Removing a password from a Word 16 document

Basically the user has the following problem. She has password protected a Word file.  She knows that it is something like Samhain.2017. So far she has tried every possible combination she can think of...but alas none of them seem to be working..any suggestions. Thanks
3 Solutions
Michael LinkInfrastructure EngineerCommented:
Here will instruct you how to remove a password from a document.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
The way you do this is a bit different between different versions of Word. Rule of thumb, don't password protect any documents.

Word Document Cracking Video shows what works on some Word documents.
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Michael's approach seems better. Same technique, just implemented differently + easier
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agwalshAuthor Commented:
@Michael Link - thanks for that. The only problem is that the password she *thinks" is the one isn't working. In the link you sent, she needs to know the password...any other suggestions? Thanks
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Michael's link assumes you already know the password. David's link only works with a modify password on a DOC file.

Is this an open password or a modify password?

If the document won't open, there is a way to try and recover it using 7zip, but it doesn't always work. Here is a link to some instructions: https://www.isunshare.com/word-password/docx-password-recovery.html

Other than that, there is no way to crack the password except for brute force. There is one tool listed in that link I gave, but lots of tools findable through google that claim to be able to do this for you as well.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
In early versions of Word it was relatively easy to break a password on a protected document.  Microsoft became aware of that and at Office 2007 went to a reasonably secure AES encryption algorithm using 128-bit keys and 50,000 iterations.  Later this was increased to 100,000 iterations.


At present there is no practical way to break that encryption using brute force methods.  "The 128-bit key AES protection employed in newer Office 2007–2010 remains secure. In fact, the distributed.net RC5 project has been trying to brute force an RC5 72-bit key since 2002, and as of 2013 has not successfully done so."

So either you know the exact, correct password or you don't.  There's no "close" when 50,000 iterations are applied to the password to generate the key.
agwalshAuthor Commented:
@Dr Klahn, sigh, I thought as much but wanted to offer a chink of hope..
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