Can’t Edit a Word Document? Here Are Quick Fixes!

Quick fixes to solve issue can’t open my Word document

Microsoft Word is the widely used Word processor across the globe. It is the simplest yet magical application, offers abundant features. People are using this Word program from more than 3 decades and even now it stands the best in the race.

However, a common issue regarding this well-known Word processing tool left several users in the high and dry situation.

I can’t edit my Word document!” “Why can’t I edit my Word document?”- it is the most frequently asked question by MS Word users across various online forum discussions.

So, if you are also facing the same problem then, here are a few simple tricks to tackle the issue can’t edit Word document.

Can’t Edit Word Document? Here is How to Fix…

Step 1: Move the Word Document

If, the Word file which you are unable to edit is saved on any removable storage device, then copy the document to your computer’s hard drive and try to edit.

Make sure Office program is activated successfully on your computer. And, if you are using a trial version, ensure it is not expired.

Step 2: Enable Word File

  • Right click on the Word document which you can’t edit
  • Click on Properties and uncheck Read-only
  • Switch to Security tab and check file usage rights is given in Group or usernames
  • Also verify, each control is marked as Allow under Permissions
  • Apply changes you made and hit OK

You might even encounter Word cannot complete the save due to file permission error if full control is not accessed to your Word document.

Step 3: Remove Document Protection

  • Open the Word document that you can’t edit and go to File menu
  • Click Options, select Customize Ribbon and Developer
  • Select Protect/Document Protection
  • Check both Block Authors and Restrict Editing
  • Disable Restrict Editing and remove blocked authors
  • When prompted, type in the password and hit OK

In Word 2016 you can find Restrict Editing and Block Authors options under Review (top panel)-> Protect tab.

Note: In case, your Word file is not responding while working or it fails to open in MS Word program then seek Yodot DOC Repair help or go through the link to solve the issue Word file not responding in a few easy steps.

Step 4: Disable Protected View

Word program gives the user an option to open Word documents that are saved in an unsafe location or received from internet/as Outlook attachment in the Read-only mode. This is to safeguard your system from unsafe entities or malicious scripts.

So, if you don’t want the Word document delivered from Outlook/internet to open in read-only mode then follow these steps.

In Word 2016/2013/2010:

Go to File -> Options -> Trust Centre -> Trust Centre Settings -> Protected View -> uncheck all options and hit OK

In Word 2007:

Select Review from top panel -> Protect Document -> Protect -> Restrict Formatting and Editing -> Stop Protection

In Word 2003:

Tools -> Unprotect

Step 5: Check Word File is Not in Use by Another User

In case, your Word file is saved on a network drive (shared network) and at the same time some other user is working on it then you cannot edit that document. It will open in Read-Only mode.

If so, then you can try below steps.

  • Save all your work and open files
  • Close all running programs and press CTRL, ALT and Delete Keys together
  • In Task Manager, select exe and click End Process under Processes tab
  • Hit Yes; if it shows the program is not responding then click the End Now button
  • Exit Task Manager, navigate to the folder where your Word file (read-only file) is saved and delete a file with the name like ~$cument.doc
  • Open Word program, click No and open the Word file that you were unable to edit

I hope the above solutions can solve your problem “can’t edit my Word document”. If you have found any other technique to fix this issue, feel free to drop your solutions in the below comment box.