Many of us protect the sheets using passwords, but sooner or later forget it. While this may seem like a big issue. But owing to the fact that Excel has a very low level of security, we can unprotect the files without much of a hassle. In this article, we will explain how to unprotect excel sheet without password, step by step.
But before that we have to know about the purpose of excel sheets in the corporate world, and who is the target audience for this article:
Corporate world is all about data collection and management . Excel just serves the same purpose without much hassle. It is a one stop solution for calculation, accounting, charting , task list and even project management charts.
Calculation: if you are tired of doing the same calculation over and over, then excel might be the thing that you need. Excels have the formula and drop down feature which can do basic mathematics quite easily and updating the data with much ease.
Accounting: Again for deep calculation and assessment , excel is extensively deployed.
Charting: Once the numbers are developed for any sales and development report, it is necessary to develop a simple understanding model.Such models are easily developed with the help of Excels.
Unlock Excel spreadsheet with VBA code (for Excel 2010 and lower)
If you are using Excel 2010 or older, you can unlock a sheet with a password with the following steps:
- Open your Excel document and switch to the password-protected sheet. You can do it by clicking on the file icon, it will open a list of options, select the info tab and click on the protect workbook.(it should be active when you run the code).
- Press Alt + F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor.
- Right-click the workbook name on the left pane (Project-VBAProject pane) and select Insert > Module from the context menu.
- In the window that appears, paste in the following code:
‘Breaks worksheet password protection.
Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer
Dim i As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer
Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer
Dim 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) & _
Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _
Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
MsgBox “Password is ” & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _
Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _
Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
- Press F5 or click the Run button on the toolbar and wait a couple of minutes.
- The macro will report a cracked password, which is not the original one (always some combination of A’s and B’s), but nevertheless, it works. You do not need to remember this fake password or enter it anywhere. Simply click OK and the sheet is unprotected!
Tips and notes:
- If your Excel file contains more than one protected sheet, run the macro for each sheet individually to unprotect it.
- To unprotect Excel sheet without password in the modern versions of Excel 2019, Excel 2016 and Excel 2013, you can save the document as Excel 97-2003 workbook (*.xls) first. Then, close Excel and reopen the workbook – it will be opened in compatibility mode. Run the macro to unprotect the worksheet, and then save the workbook back as a .xlsx file. Alternatively, you can use one of the free tools, for example, Password Protection Remover add-in for Excel. Or you can upload the protected Excel worksheet to your Google Drive, and then open it with Google Sheets
Method 2. Unprotect Excel Workbook / Worksheet Password using iSeePassword Dr.Excel
iSeePassword Dr.Excel tool, it provide two powerful features: Recover Excel Open password and Unprotect Excel Worksheet/Workbook Password, which can help you re-access to your Excel no mater what type of password you forgot.
We know the Excel uses AES 128-bit advanced encryption, but the latest algorithm of Dr.Excel makes it possible to crack the xlsx open password in a very fast time. It supports Excel 2008/2010/2012/2013/2016/2019/2020.
Function 1: Unprotect Excel Workbook/Worksheet Password
Dr.Excel can be able to remove the password from Excel Workbook and worksheet instantly without damaging the original data.
Step 1. After you installed Dr.Excel on your computer, select option “Remove Worksheet, Workbok Password”, and then click the “Add” button to import your target Excel file.
Step 2. Then you need to specify the location to save the Excel file, then click the Start button. The process is very fast!
Function 2: Crack Excel Open Password If you Forgot
Step 1. After you installed the Dr.Excel tool on your computer, launch it, then select option “Recover Open Password from Excel” and click the “Add File” button to import the encrypted Excel document.
Step 2. Here, select an attack type, Dr.Excel provides three attack type: dictionary attack, brute force attack and mask attack. I suggest you choose Mask attack, which make the recovery process faster.
Dr.Excel support the GPU acceleration and Multi-threading CPU, which can improve the password cracking speed 10X faster.
Step 3. Click the “Start” button to start searching your password. Once the password is found, it will be displayed in the pop-up dialog box.
Download the Dr.Excel and give it a try.
Dr.Excel helped me recovered 5-digit length password in 1 hour, faster than other tools. I had no clue about the password so I selected the brute force attack. The program kept running in the background for 1 hour and finally found out the password. I wouldn’t say it was pretty convenient, but it may not take so long if you choose the other modes like “Dictionary Attack” or “Mask Attack”, but only if you remember some password information.
Copy the protected sheet contents to another worksheet
Another way (or rather a workaround) to unlock an Excel sheet that was protected with a password is to copy its entire contents to a new sheet. Here’s how:
- Open the password-protected sheet, this is the sheet which has the password you have forgotten or misplaced.
- With the cursor positioned in cell A1, press Shift + Ctrl + End to select all used cells in the worksheet.
- Press Ctrl + C to copy the selected cells.
- Create a new sheet in the current workbook or in a different workbook (to create a new Excel file, simply press Ctrl + N).
- In the new blank worksheet, place the cursor in A1 and press Ctrl + V to paste the contents of the password-protected sheet.
It is important to understand that:
- This method works only if the Select locked cells and Select unlocked cells actions are allowed in the protected spreadsheet.
- If the password-protected worksheet has external links to other sheets or workbooks, you may need to re-create those links manually.
- You can use Paste Special to copy/paste the column widths so you won’t need to adjust them in the new sheet manually.
Alternatively, you can use online code crackers for your excel sheet. But there are many pros and cons with it:
Using a simple online Excel password recovery tool is a timely and effective way to unlock and access the password-protected Excel file. But while solving the problem, data security cannot be ignored. Many times, you may encounter data loss and data theft problems. Thus, choose the online excel password remover tool very carefully, if you are going that way.
Still the best practice usually is to remember the password because many excel files may lose data, but in case you have no clear hint you can use these processes. One thing that is absolutely necessary here is that all these processes should be utilized only when you are authorized to use. If used in any other form , data theft is a highly punishable offence.