How to Stop Microsoft Word Opening Files in Read-Only Mode in Windows – MUO – MakeUseOf

How to Stop Microsoft Word Opening Files in Read-Only Mode in Windows – MUO – MakeUseOf

How to Stop Microsoft Word Opening Files in Read-Only Mode in Windows – MUO – MakeUseOf 0 0 Alan Dickson

If Word keeps locking you out of your own documents, here are some tricks you can try on Windows.
Microsoft Word, by default, opens the documents downloaded from the internet in Read-Only mode for added security reasons. Other times, it can be due to the document owner adding edit restrictions to the document to be used in read-only mode to prevent modifications.
In any case, you can change the edit restrictions in Microsoft Word to stop the documents from opening in read-only mode. Here we show you how to disable document protection, change file attributes and turn off the built-in safety features to remove the read-only status on MS Word documents.
In Windows, you can mark files as read-only to discourage other users from modifying the original content of the file. If the read-only file attribute is turned on, you can open and read the file but cannot delete, overwrite or edit the original content.
If your document opens in read-only mode, check the file properties and turn off the read-only mode file attribute to allow modifications in MS Word.
Document owners can use the built-in Restrict Editing feature in Microsoft Word to prevent unauthorized users from making unintended modifications. The Restrict Editing mode uses password or user authentication as the file protection method.
So, if there is a file restriction, you will need to have access to the password or be an authenticated owner to remove the editing restrictions.
To remove Editing Restrictions for a Word document:
That should remove all the editing restrictions and allow you to modify the Word document.
Protected View is part of Microsoft’s Trust Center, where you can manage the security and privacy settings for the Microsoft Office programs. When enabled, Protected View opens documents in read-only mode and disables most editing functions.
MS Word, by default, uses Protected View to protect the user from malicious internet files disguised as genuine Word documents. However, if you trust the read-only document to be genuine, you can disable Protected View temporarily in MS Word to edit your document.
To disable Protected View in MS Word:
You can configure MS Word's startup options to open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view. This is a security feature to help prevent malicious email attachments and other documents that originated from the internet from infecting your computer.
However, it can also prevent you from editing legitimate documents by opening them in read-only mode. Try to disable this option to see if that helps you resolve the problem.
When enabled, the Preview pane shows the preview of your selected files in File Explorer. However, to do so, File Explorer may end up locking your file resulting in read-only mode in MS Word.
Try turning off the Preview pane in File Explorer to fix the problem.
Disable Preview pane in Windows 11:
Disable Preview pane in Windows 10:
Similar to MS Word, third-party antivirus includes built-in safety features to stop users from opening potentially dangerous files downloaded from the Internet.
However, your antivirus can also block genuine files and prevent them from opening default mode in MS Word. If you have a third-party antivirus, check if it is causing Word files to open in read-only mode.
You can disable your antivirus temporarily to determine if it is causing the issue. Once disabled, open the Word file and check if it opens in default mode with editing privileges.
If so, check your antivirus program for application or process exclusion settings, including the Ransomware shield setting. If the issue persists, consider switching to less intrusive antivirus software.
MS Office features a built-in repair option to fix issues that may be preventing the program from working correctly. If you determine the problem to have occurred due to a software glitch, run the repair tool to fix any issues with the app.
Microsoft Office is among the most targeted platform by the threat actors to carry out attacks through malware. To mitigate these attacks and protect user data, Microsoft Office applications use several safety features to prevent users from opening malicious files.
However, these safety features can also block genuine files and open them in read-only mode. If you trust the file source, you can disable these safety features in MS Word settings and open the documents in default mode.
Tashreef is a developer and works as a technical writer at MakeUseOf. With a bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications, he has over 5 years of experience and covers Microsoft Windows and everything around it. When not looking for a missing semicolon or churning out text, you can find him trying FPS titles or looking for new animated shows and movies.
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