Microsoft Word opens the file in Read-Only mode so you can’t edit it? Don’t worry, the ways below will help you fix this problem.
By default, Microsoft Word opens documents downloaded from the Internet in Read-only mode for security reasons or because the owner restricts editing rights.
Either way, you can always change Microsoft Word’s editing restrictions so that the document is no longer opened as read-only. Here’s how to disable document protection, change file properties and disable safety features to remove read-only status on MS Word documents.
Ways to stop MS Word from opening documents in Read-only mode
- Turn off Read-only mode in File Properties
- Turn off Word document editing restrictions
- Turn off Protected View
- Turn off Open E-mail Attachments in Reading View
- Turn off the Preview panel in File Explorer
Turn off Read-only mode in File Properties
On Windows, you can mark files as read-only to prevent others from editing the original content. If the “Read-only” property is enabled, you can open & read the file but cannot delete, overwrite or edit the original content.
If the document opens in read-only mode, check the file properties and disable read-only mode to allow MS Word editing.
- Right-click the file you want to change the file properties and select Properties.
- In the Properties window, open the General tab.
- In the Attributes section, uncheck Read-only.
- Click Apply > OK to save the changes.
- The document will now not open read-only in MS Word.
Turn off Word document editing restrictions
Document owners can use the Restrict Editing feature available in Microsoft Word to prevent strangers from changing the content inside without permission. Restrict Editing mode uses a password or user authentication as the method of file protection.
So, if you open a file with restricted permissions, you need the password or the owner to remove the editing restrictions.
To remove Editing Restrictions on a Word document:
1. Open the Read-only document in MS Word.
2. Next, open Review at the top.
3. In the Protect section, click Restrict Editing.
4. In the right panel, click the Stop Protection button.
5. If the document is password-protected, you need to enter it in the corresponding field, and then click OK.
The above action will remove all editing restrictions and allow you to edit the Word document.
Turn off Protected View
Protected View is part of Microsoft’s Trust Center. Here you can manage security and privacy settings for Microsoft Office. When activated, Protected View opens documents in read-only mode and disables editing functions.
By default, MS Word uses Protected View to protect users from malicious internet files disguised as normal Word documents. However, if the document is trustworthy, you can temporarily disable Protected View in MS Word to edit the document.
To turn off Protected View in MS Word:
1. Open MS Word.
2. Click File, and then select Options.
3. It will open the Word Options window. In the left panel, open the Trust Center tab.
4. Next, click Trust Center Settings in Microsoft Word Trust Center.
5. In the left panel, click the Protected View tab.
6. In the right panel, uncheck: Enable Protected View for files originated from the internet, and Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments.
7. Click OK to save changes and open the Word document. You will see the restrictions have been removed.
Turn off Open E-mail Attachments in Reading View
You can configure the MS Word startup option to open attachments and other non-editable files in reading mode. This is a security feature that helps block malicious email files and other documents on the Internet from infecting your PC with viruses.
However, it can also prevent you from editing documents by opening them read-only. Try disabling this option to see if the problem is resolved. Proceed as follows:
- Open the MS Word program on the PC.
- Click File > select Options .
- In the General tab, scroll down under Startup options.
- Next, uncheck Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in the reading view.
- Click OK to save the changes.
- If you open the attachment in MS Word, it will now open by default.
Turn off the Preview panel in File Explorer
When enabled, the Preview panel displays a preview of the selected file in File Explorer. However, for this to work, File Explorer can lock the file to Read-only mode in MS Word.
Try disabling the Preview panel in File Explorer to fix this problem.
1. Press Win + E to open File Explorer.
2. In File Explorer, click the View drop-down.
3. Then go to Show and uncheck the Preview pane.
Turn off the Preview panel in Windows 10:
- Open File Explorer.
- Next, open the View tab at the top of the screen.
- Click the Preview panel to turn off this option.
Above are some ways to turn off Microsoft Word to open documents in read-only mode. Hope the article is useful to you.