Forgot Excel Workbook Password? Here Are 5 Tips for You

author_icon Ronnie Barnes time_icon Last updated: Oct 18, 2019 06:35 pm tips_icon Excel

When it comes to protecting your Excel Workbook, Microsoft Office gives you a number of options. You can lock the document completely, meaning that someone without a password will not be able to open the document. You also get the option to set a password to prevent someone from editing the content on the workbook.

All of these restrictions have their place, yet it can be completely annoying when you set either one of these passwords and then lose or forget it. In this case, a quick solution to help you gain access to the Workbook is needed and luckily we have several solutions for you.

1. Forgot Excel Workbook Password to Open

If you have forgotten your Workbook's opening password, there are very few workarounds that can help you gain access to the document. The only viable solution in this case would be to use a password recovery program and the best one is Passper for Excel. This tool aims to make it very easy to recover forgotten Excel password regardless of its complexity and the following features make that possible:

  • Passper can be used to recover the password to open your Excel document without affecting the data on the file.

  • It can also be used to remove all restrictions from any Excel file, making it possible for you to edit the content on the file, print or copy the file and even change the structure of the Workbook.

  • It utilizes 4 different attack modes (most of our competitors' tools only use 3 attack modes) to increase the chances of password recovery and recover even the most complex of passwords.

  • It is very easy to use. You can recover our password in a few simple steps and remove editing restrictions in a single click.

Free Download for Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP

Here's how to use Passper for Excel to recover the password:

Step 1: Install Passper for Excel on your computer and then launch it. Click on "Recover Passwords" and then add the password protected Workbook on to the program. You can do that by clicking on "+" and then browsing your computer for the file.

choose recover passwords

Step 2: In the next window, select the attack mode you would like to use depending on how much information you have about the password. Click "Remove" to continue.

import excel document

Step 3: The program will immediately begin the process of recovering your password. When the process is complete, the password will be displayed on the next screen. You can use it to unlock the Excel workbook.

unprotect excel 2016

2. Forgot Excel Workbook Password to Modify

If you have forgotten the modify password for the Excel workbook, you may be able to open the file, but you will not be able to edit. To lift this restriction, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Open the Excel document and click on "File > Save As".

Step 2: In the dialogue box that appears, click on "Tools" and then select "General Options" from the list of options presented.

general options excel

Step 3: Clear the password next to the "Password to Open" box as well as the " " box. Uncheck "Read-Only Recommended" if it is checked and click "OK".

read only recommended

Step 4: Back on the "Save As" dialogue box, change the file name and then click on "Save". This will create a new file that will be unprotected and editable.

3. Forgot Excel Workbook Structure Password

If you are unable to change the structure of the Excel document's window, rename a sheet or delete a sheet, the workbook structure may be password protected. The following are some of the ways to go around this problem.

With a Password

If you know the password, follow these simple steps to remove the restrictions;

Step 1: Open the protected Workbook (if there is an open password on the document as well, you may need to enter the password to open the file).

Step 2: Now click on "Review > Protect Workbook" and then type the password into the box provided and click "OK" to remove the protection.

remove password from excel

Step 3: Hit Ctrl + S on your keyboard to save the document and you should now be able to edit the Workbook anyway you want.

Without a Password

Lifting the restrictions on the workbook can be difficult if you don't know the password. Passper for Excel can help you here as well. Here's how;

Step 1: Launch the program on your computer and then select "Remove Restrictions". Click "Add" to browse your computer for the restricted file and add it to the program.

remove restrictions step1

Step 2: Once the file is added, simply click on "Remove" and all restrictions on the file will be instantly lifted.

remove restrictions step3

4. Ask the Original Owner of the File

If you are not the original owner of the document and therefore don't have a license to make any changes on the document, your best bet is to ask the owner to provide you with the password or lift any restrictions on the document. Some files in a company's archive can be restricted for one reason or another and most of the time if you just ask, they can provide you with the password and remove restrictions for you.

The next time you forget the password to any Excel document, the solutions we've detailed above can help you quickly unlock the password or lift restrictions, allowing you to continue working on the document, print it or make copies of it.


By Ronnie Barnes to Excel

Posted on Sep 12, 2019 ( Updated: Oct 18, 2019 )

Ronnie Barnes, a blogger with more than 5-year experience in writing tips about password recovery for Windows and office files.