How to Unlock a Password for Excel Spreadsheets

Updated July 20, 2017

Microsoft Excel is a program in which you can enter and manipulate data in a variety of ways to make useful representations and analyse the data. When opening Excel, it is possible to add a password to the file as a whole or to an individual spreadsheet. Password protecting a spreadsheet is often used to prevent changing key variables of the spreadsheet, such as formulas for certain cells, but still allowing someone to view the file. There are a few ways to unlock or get around a password-protected spreadsheet in Excel.

Copy and paste the spreadsheet into a new workbook. Some password-protected spreadsheets can be copied completely, including all formulas. If this does not work, you will have to download and use an Excel password cracking program.

Download an Excel password cracker program or find a macro. There are many programs and macros that you can find with a quick Google, Yahoo! or Bing search with the search phrase "Excel password cracker." One example is Office Password Recovery Pro, which can be used to unlock the spreadsheet password.

After installing your Excel password cracking program, double-click the program's icon or go to the "Start" menu and select "Programs." Click the newly installed program from the list.

Click "Open" in your program and select the option "100% Instant Document Decryption" or similar option. Select the document for which you need the password. This will recover passwords for spreadsheets as well as the password to open the document. An option will appear to either create a new document without passwords or to display the passwords for the given document.

Choose where you would like to save the unprotected document if that is the option you chose.

Click "Recover the Password to Open" if you want the passwords displayed. Select the document, if not already done, and click "Next" twice and select "Finish." The program will run and then notify you when the results are ready, showing both document and spreadsheet passwords.

Things You'll Need

  • Excel password cracker program
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Ziggy Thomas started writing professionally in 2010, specializing in fitness, business and technology, among other topics of interest. He works as a financial analyst in Austin. Thomas holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in finance and economics from the University of Nevada, Reno.