Password protection lost when saving as earlier versions

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Article ID: 168098 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you try to open a password protected file in Word, one or more of the following error messages may be displayed:

  • Cannot convert password protected documents
  • Word cannot open the document.


Access to a file is restricted when the document has been saved with any type of password protection. All of the converters in Microsoft Word will not convert password protected files.


Open and re-save the document without password protection in the original program before you open the document in Word.


You cannot convert a password-protected file created in another word processor (such as Word Perfect, AmiPro, or Enable) from any version of Word.

NOTE: The password protection feature in Word requires you to type a case- sensitive password before you can open a document. Word converters do not prompt you for the password, and will not allow you to convert a password protected document.


For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
193545 WD: Password Protection Lost When Saving as Earlier Versions

121000 Enable Word Processing Converter Capabilities and Limitations

141012 Find Fast Does Not Index Password Protected Files


Article ID: 168098 - Last Review: January 11, 2015 - Revision: 7.1
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
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