Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Listing Documents with Passwords.

Listing Documents with Passwords

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 1, 2012)

Jamie asked if it is possible to get a list of all passworded Word documents, or all documents using a particular password. The short answer is "No, Word doesn't have such a capability." Passwords are saved with a document, and if you don't know the password (or cannot guess a password), then you cannot open a document. Period.

The longer answer is that if you know what passwords you were personally most likely to use on a document, then you could write a macro that would attempt to open your documents using those passwords. The macro could follow these general steps:

  1. Try to open a document using the various passwords.
  2. If successful, keep track of the document name and password used.
  3. If unsuccessful, keep track of the document name.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each document.
  5. Present a list of documents opened with each password.
  6. Present a list of documents unable to be opened with the supplied passwords.

Note that this approach will only work if you already know the possible passwords. For instance, if you have three or four passwords you typically use, then you could use these steps to test documents with those likely passwords. If a particular document doesn't use one of those passwords, then you are out of luck—the document will just be considered "unopenable" in step 3 and listed in step 6.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1617) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Listing Documents with Passwords.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Turning Track Changes Off for Selected Areas

Track Changes is a great tool to use so that you can, well, "track" what changes are made during the development of a ...

Discover More

Attaching Macros to Documents

When you distribute documents to other people, you may want those documents to have associated macros that the reader can ...

Discover More

Creating an Amortization Schedule

An amortization schedule is a report that shows how the outstanding balance on a loan changes with payments made over time. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Opening Word 2007 Files in Older Versions

Word 2007 uses a different file format than was used in previous versions of Word. This can cause some problems in opening ...

Discover More

Too Many Temporary Files

Word, as it operates, creates lots of temporary files on your system. Here are some ideas for dealing with that plethora of ...

Discover More

Embedding TrueType Fonts

If you need to make sure that the fonts in your document can be used by another person or on a different system, you'll need ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 5 + 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.