How to Unlock an Excel Workbook Without Knowing the Password

Updated April 17, 2017

Microsoft Excel allows for worksheets to be password protected. This prevents unauthorised personnel from editing the existing data. Unfortunately, if you have lost or forgotten the password to the worksheet, you will be unable to edit the data yourself without having to create an entirely new worksheet. There are many computer programs available that will recover or remove lost Excel passwords. Most of them are for sale, but there are also a few free programs that will do the job just as well.

Download and install Excel Password Remover 2010 from (see Resources). This is an Excel add-in file that will place two new options, "Unlock sheet" and "Unlock Workbook," under the "Tools" menu. This is an effective, free program.

Try Passware Kit Basic 10.1 (see Resources). This software can recover passwords for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, as well as passwords for e-mail accounts, network connections and local Administrators.

Download Excel Password Recovery Master (see Resources). This software offers near instant recovery of password. Length and complexity of passwords do not affect the speed at which they are recovered. Excel Password Recovery Master also supports Multilingual passwords.

Things You'll Need

  • Excel password recovery software
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About the Author

Lawrence Stephens has been writing professionally since 2008. He has written on a variety of topics for newspapers and websites, including Bizcovering and "The Harbor Sound." He has worked as a ghostwriter in fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing full time, he is working toward a Bachelor of Science in computer programming from the University of Phoenix.