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Password Recovery
OS passwords
Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7
Windows NTFS (EFS)
Windows 95/98/ME
Microsoft Office
MS Word
Other Microsoft products
Internet Explorer
Outlook Express, Outlook, Internet Mail
SQL Server
Documents, Office Applications
Adobe Acrobat PDF
Corel WordPerfect Office: WordPerfect, QuattroPro, Paradox
Lotus SmartSuite: Organizer, WordPro, 1-2-3, Approach
Intuit Quicken, Quicken Lawyer, QuickBooks
E-mail (POP3, IMAP): Microsoft Outlook Express, Outlook, Internet Mail; Eudora, The Bat!, Netscape Mail, ...
Instant Messengers: ICQ, AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail & MSN, Skype, ...

Listed below are Microsoft Office password recovery products by Rixler Software and ElcomSoft. Rixler's products may be a good choice for nearly-instant recovery of encrypted and/or restricted Word and/or Excel documents (the documents are decrypted and any restrictions are removed). However, as it relates to passwords for opening (as opposed to other kinds of passwords and restrictions that a file could have), Rixler's products do not support the currently less common Office 2007 format files (*.docx and *.xlsx - with the trailing "x"), do not support files encrypted with non-default encryption settings, and do not actually show you the password (instead, they recover the cryptographic key, which enables them to decrypt the document without figuring out the actual password). ElcomSoft's Advanced Office Password Recovery does not have these limitations (but its success and time until successful recovery depends on complexity of the password to be recovered).

Office Password Recovery Toolbox by Rixler Software
Windows, shareware, free trial, $59.95 Personal / $119.85 Business License (download, purchase)

This is a comprehensive solution for recovering Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint, and VBA passwords. The program features include:

  • Recovery or removal of "open" (except for *.docx and *.xlsx files), "write", and "protection" passwords for Word documents
  • Recovery or removal of "open", "write", workbook, shared workbook, and worksheet passwords for Excel documents
  • Removal of "write" passwords for PowerPoint 2007 documents
  • Recovery of passwords for Outlook personal folder files (*.pst)
  • Recovery of passwords for Access database files (*.mdb) and workgroup information files (*.mdw)
  • Recovery of passwords for VBA projects in Word, Excel, and Outlook files
  • Online password recovery service (using the computing power of the vendor's server) with guaranteed privacy (only some technical information is sent to the server, not the actual document contents)
  • Nearly instant recovery of passwords of any length and complexity, including multilingual ones (more correctly, it's the encryption keys "derived" from the passwords that are recovered, but this detail usually does not matter in practice - the documents are decrypted either way)
    This is similar to a feature of ElcomSoft's Advanced Office Password Breaker (Enterprise Edition priced at $399), with the primary difference being that Rixler's product uses the vendor's server, whereas ElcomSoft's Enterprise Edition ships with a DVD that enables the product to perform a comparably fast attack right on the user's computer.
  • Ability to set an access password to prevent unauthorized use of the program
  • Easy and user-friendly interface, including copying of recovered passwords to the clipboard

Office Multi-document Password Cracker by Rixler Software
Windows, shareware, free trial, $59.95 Personal / $119.85 Business License (download, purchase)

This program will search a directory tree (even an entire hard drive) and remove any passwords (except for VBA project passwords) from multiple Word and Excel documents.

Advanced Office Password Recovery by ElcomSoft
Windows, shareware, free trial
$49 Home / $249 Professional Edition

A program to recover lost or forgotten passwords to files/documents created in Microsoft Office applications (all versions up to Office 2007): Word, Excel, Access (including user-level passwords and owner info), Outlook, Project, Money, PowerPoint, Visio, Publisher, OneNote, Backup, Schedule+, Mail. Can also reset MS Internet Explorer (3/4/5) Content Advisor password, and open password-protected VBA projects (created in any application) via the "backdoor". Most passwords are being recovered instantly; the "password to open" in Word/Excel 97/2000/XP/2003/2007 can be recovered using "brute-force" and dictionary attacks optimized for speed.

The program also has VBA "backdoor" feature (works for all Microsoft Office 97, Office 2000, and Office XP applications, as well as other programs which have VBA projects, such as Corel WordPerfect Office).

S+ Standard or Professional Edition only;
P Professional Edition only.

Advanced Office Password Breaker by ElcomSoft
Windows, shareware, free trial
$99 Standard / $199 Professional / $399 Enterprise Edition

A program to decrypt Word and Excel 97/2000 files that have file open protection set, as well as Word and Excel XP files with default (Office 97/2000 compatible) encryption - guaranteed regardless of password length and complexity. This is being done by trying all possible encryption keys (rather than only some possible passwords from which the keys are derived) and takes under a week on a high-end workstation.

Please note that this program does not work with files created in Word/Excel 95 or older, Word/Excel XP with new CSP protection, and for any passwords other than the password for opening. For such files, use the Advanced Office Password Recovery product instead.

Standard Edition uses only one CPU at a time. Professional Edition can also work on dual-CPU (or dual-core) and quad-CPU (or quad-core) systems, using all processors/cores (so recovery speed will be almost twice or four times better).

Enterprise Edition uses as many CPUs as are installed (up to 32). Additionally, it includes a DVD with pre-computed cryptographic tables (ElcomSoft's improvement upon so-called "rainbow tables"), which enables it to unlock 100% of Word documents in less than a minute and 97% of Excel documents in several minutes (typical time).

Password recovery resources specific to a document type:

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