4 ways to open a password protected excel file

It can be really frustrating when you go khổng lồ use a password-protected resource & you have forgotten the password. Even online membership sites can be frustrating enough. But if it is a project in a password-protected Excel document, và you then forgot the password – it can be an unwelcome roadbloông xã in your progress.

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Fortunately, there are some things you can vì lớn remove a password from Excel. If you want your document password-protected, you may want to lớn re-save sầu và protect it after you have cracked it. But for this article, we will be focusing on the cracking part.


Some Terminology

Removing the password from Excel refers to lớn just that – making the file such that it does not have a password anymore. Breaking the password is again, like it sounds, breaking the password so you can gain access to the tệp tin. That could be a case where the password is broken on its way to lớn removal or broken on its way khổng lồ being cracked.

Yes, cracked sounds like broken but think hack. In the case of cracking a forgotten password, you are figuring out what the password is, so you can gain access to the file.


Many software programs & the multitude of other options available will only result in a dead end or limitation of some sort. For example they will work for Excel 2007 but not for Excel năm nhâm thìn or Mac. Or they will work for protection within the worksheet but not if you cannot open the file (open password).

Interestingly, software options that will work for those items (i.e. Excel 2016, open password, Mac, etc.) will also work for the older Excel programs.

So, why buy two programs or have sầu khổng lồ buy one program for the new files và clutter up your computer with a free program for the older files when you don’t need it? It makes sense to lớn get the right program that solves your problem. And while *free* is wonderful, $9-30 is not an absolutely horrible price, not when you consider a lot of valuable (& needed) software runs $300-500.

Too keep it simple, here are some *free* options that might remove the password from Excel, saving you from having khổng lồ pay or even install anything. Later we will consider some paid software solutions.

Free Methods

The following are some methods that you can try that might allow you lớn keep your wallet closed. No guarantees, but it is a place lớn start. Keep in mind two things:

If you are short on time or want an easier route, you might want to lớn go straight lớn the paid solutions (software).The Excel encryption prior khổng lồ 2013 was quite simplified. That means it is easier to crack a worksheet that was protected prior to 2013. Again, if you want to skip the hassle, for a newer version of the worksheet (newer version of Excel) you might want to lớn skip the không tính phí versions & go straight for the paid.

No matter what, don’t forget khổng lồ make a backup of the tệp tin. More than one backup can be wise. Craông xã a copy of the tệp tin so you can ensure that there is no corruption or damage to the original file. Most of these software methods và miễn phí methods bởi vì not damage the tệp tin but it is better lớn err on the side of caution.

Two VBA Script Methods

The idea of using a VBA script is khổng lồ work around the password checking mechanism of Microsoft Excel & break the Excel password. But you vì it by fooling the program before the process starts, with the core scripting language of Visual Basic.

It might seem the more geeky option but it is possibly the least involved method, so you might want to try it first.

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Here is the VBA Script. As soon as you open the Excel Worksheet, access the Editor with Alt F11 (works on Mac, too), choose the tệp tin from the các mục & paste this script in the Declarations window.

Sub BreakPassword() Dyên i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer Dlặng l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer Dlặng i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer On Error Resume Next For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66 For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66 For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66 For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126 ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) và _ Chr(l) và Chr(m) và Chr(i1) và Chr(i2) và Chr(i3) & _ Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) và Chr(n) If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then Exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: NextEnd SubAfter hitting the run button (F5) for the VBA script, give sầu it some time và when the button becomes available again, you will know that the script has finished.

There are a couple of possibilities. For example, in the Mac version, you can simply start editing the file. Other versions, lượt thích Windows, will give you a temporary password that you can use to lớn unlock the document & start editing. At this point, you have the option khổng lồ add a new password if you like và re-save sầu the document with that password.

There is another excellent VBA Script method that takes the Excel file và recreates a copy of it without the password(s). You can copy/paste the VBA script from this page.

John the Ripper Option

Another option khổng lồ remove sầu a password from Excel is a more core approach, utilizing the terminal. It is the John the Ripper version. This is also an effective sầu method for general password cracking & has been used effectively for decades. Some of the other methods, like the software method(s), are probably easier and more effective sầu, especially for the newer versions of Excel.

Also, if you have sầu an older version of Excel (pre-2013) & you don’t mind typing, the VBA Script Method is effective sầu. For the John the Ripper method, visit this site & scroll khổng lồ the bottom for the how-to method/instructions.

XML/Zip Method (Pre-Excel 2013)

After you have sầu made a backup of the tệp tin, you can proceed lớn use the XML/Zip method lớn craông chồng it.

All you need lớn vày is change the extension on the tệp tin from xls to zip so that Windows thinks that the tệp tin is now a zip file instead of an Excel tệp tin. This will allow access khổng lồ the XML that exists (assuming the method works, which it may not).Extract the now-zip file and look for the XML file. It will be in the worksheets directory.Within the tệp tin, search for the term sheetProtection và when you find it, remove the tag that encloses it. A tag usually starts with . You want to remove the entire tag, beginning khổng lồ end.Save sầu the tệp tin (still zip). After saving the file, rename the zip extension to the original extension. You should be all mix và able khổng lồ open và work with the tệp tin.

This method did not perkhung well và retìm kiếm says that it seems lớn only work for the older files.

Other (Gathering Information)

There is another password option that is recommended called Excel Password Recovery Lastic. It is an interesting option but when tested, it failed to impress, never making any headway.

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That said, there is some helpful information that may be gleaned by using the program even if it doesn’t complete the process of password cracking (or removing).

Chuyên mục: Tin Tức