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 the file.
Most Word password cracker tools fall in to one of three categories: tools that recover the Word document open password, tools that remove the Word document open password, and [theoretically] tools that remove or recover the Word edit restrictions password though I haven't found any free programs that do the latter.
The huge majority of Word password recovery programs are shareware tools that then charge money before providing the password. However, there are a few freeware Word password recovery, remover, and cracker programs, the best of which I've listed here:
Important: My understanding is that the only legal use of Word password recovery programs is to remove the security on a Microsoft 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.
Need to Crack a Different Kind of Password? See my list of free password crackers for free tools to crack Windows passwords, RAR and ZIP archives, other MS Office file types, and more.
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 Word file.
Only Word document open passwords are recovered with Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard. The program will not remove, unlock, or crack a Word edit restriction password. Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard uses a brute force recovery method but can also use a dictionary attack if you have a dictionary file.
Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard does not work with the newer DOCX format used by default in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and 2010. The maximum password length that can be recovered is 8 characters.
My Test: Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard recovered the 4-character Word document open password on a DOC file in just a few seconds. However, I knew the characters involved in the Word password and how long the password was so I customized the brute force settings accordingly. If you don't know the characters used or the length of the password then the Word password crack could take much longer.
Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard should work on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and most other versions of Windows as well.
GuaWord, technically Guaranteed Word Decryptor, is a freeware Word password remover program that "guarantees" the removal of the document open Word password no matter what the length.
GuaWord can guarantee the Word password removal 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 GuaWord usually takes around 10 days on a fast computer to remove the Word password. Yes, you read that correctly - 10 days.
GuaWord will not work on Word files with encryption higher than 40-bit or with passwords in French. GuaWord will also not work with DOCX files nor will it crack or remove Word passwords for restricting editing.
Important: The GuaWord website warns that there are issues with this freeware version that makes it unsafe to use, I'm assuming they mean corruption of the original DOC file during the password removal process. If possible, just to be safe, make a copy of the DOC file and let GuaWord crack the copied one.
My Test: Due to the time involved, I didn't test GuaWord all the way to the successful removal of the password. I did, however, make sure that the program is free and usable and should work if you choose to use GuaWord over another free Word password tool here.
GuaWord is a command-line tool and should work on both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP.
CrackIt! is another excellent free Word password recovery tool.
CrackIt! works much like Free Word and Excel Password Recovery Wizard only with many less options, making the Word password cracking process very easy. Just select an alphabet (choose the largest one if you're not sure) and then let CrackIt! recover the Word password.
Note: CrackIt! will not work with documents created in Microsoft Office Word 2007 and 2010 that use the newer DOCX format.
My Test: CrackIt! recovered the 4-character Word document open password on a DOC file in just a few seconds.
CrackIt! was originally designed for Windows 95/98 but I had no problem making it work in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
There Are Only 3 Free Word Password Recover Programs?
There might be more but these are all I could find. If you know of another freeware Word password recovery or remover program, please let me know.
Most commercial Word password crackers cost from $15USD to $100USD, 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 I didn't include programs like that in my list.