[2019] How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password - 5 Ways

author_icon Ronnie Barnes time_icon Last updated: Jun 18, 2019 10:28 am tips_icon Excel

Sometimes, you may receive an excel sheet that is protected with a password, and you may need to unlock it so that you can edit the data on the worksheet. If you have no idea what the password is, or you have forgotten it, there are ways to unprotect excel sheet without password. Let us check out these ways so that the next time you are faced with this kind of situation, you will know what to do to unprotect Excel sheet without password.

Tip 1. How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password in VBA Code

If you are running the Excel 2010 version or older versions, you can unprotect Excel sheet without using the password in VBA code. To do this, use the macro below:

Step 1. Open the password-protected Excel sheet. Then open Visual Basic Editor by pressing Alt + F11.

Step 2. On the left pane, right-click the name of the workbook, that is, Project-VBA pane. Then, click on "Insert" and then "Module" from the context menu.

Step 3. A window will appear that you will paste the following code.

vba code

After you have copied the code above, click on "Run" or press F5 and wait for some minutes.

The macro will return with a new password. Although this password is not the original password to the locked Excel worksheet, it works regardless. You do not need to copy or remember this password. All you have to do is to click on "Ok" and your excel worksheet will be unprotected.

Check out Some Tips You Should Take Note of:

  • If the Excel file has more than one sheet protected, run the VBA macro for each sheet.

  • For the latest versions of Excel 2013 and 2016, save the document as Excel 97-2003 workbook with "xls" Extension. Then run the macro to unprotect the sheet before you then save it as a .xlsx file.

Tip 2. Unprotect Excel Sheet by Removing Protection Tag

You need to understand the differences between unprotected workbook or Excel sheet and the password-protected workbook or Excel sheet.

Step 1. Create an Excel file and protect it with a password. Then create another one without password protection.

Step 2. Change the name of the file extension to .zip and use a file extraction program to unzip the two Excel files. Save each of them in different folders with different names.

unzip excel file

Step 3. Open each of the folders and check the file /xl/workbook.xml file in both of the folders. You will notice that the one protected with password has the tag <workbookProtection .../> while the unprotected workbook does not have that tag.

Step 4. Remove the <workbookProtection .../> tags from the password-protected Excel sheet and workbook. Save it.

Step 5. Use the extraction program to comprise the files in the second folder and change the extension of the file to .xlsx. Open it and you will find that the protected password has been removed.

zip files

Tip 3. Unprotect Excel Online via Google

To avoid any data loss, create a backup of your Excel spreadsheet first then follow the steps below to remove the password.

Step 1. Open Google docs and log in to your Gmail account.

Step 2. At the right corner of the top of the screen, click on the Open File Picker icon.

Step 3. A dialog box will pop up; Click on "Upload" to upload the password-protected Excel spreadsheet.

Step 4. After uploading your excel spreadsheet, it will open in Google Docs. Navigate to "File" and click on "Download As", then select "Microsoft Excel".

Step 5. The Excel file will become unprotected as it is downloaded to your computer.

unprotect excel without password via google

When you try to open and edit the Excel file on your computer, it will not prompt you to enter a password anymore.

Tip 4. Unprotect Excel Without Password Using Passper for Excel

Passper for Excel is one of the most-used tools to recover forgotten or lost the opening password for Excel files as well as removing restrictions for Excel sheet and workbook. It guarantees that no data will be deleted after using the recovery tool. Check out some of its features.

Remove Restrictions: Remove edit or print restrictions on Excel worksheet and workbook for you to edit, copy, print, etc. The removing process is less than 3 seconds.

Recover Opening Passwords: Recover and display the opening passwords within several minutes for you to open the password protected Excel document.

Highest Recovery Rate: The fact that it utilizes 4 different recovery modes and a dictionary with millions of frequently used passwords makes it one of the most effective and efficient password recovery tools.

Fastest Recovery Speed: It has the fastest checking speeds of any tool in the market especially since it can check up to 3,000,000 passwords every second.

No Data Loss: Unlock password-locked Excel file without damaging the content on the file.

100% Secure to Use: Passper is the sub-brand of iMyFone which is highly recognized by authoritative media sites, such as Makeuseof, Macworld, Cult of Mac, thus it is 100% secure and safe to use.

Support Excel 97-2019: It can recover lost passwords for Excel document with different versions, including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2000 and 97.

Available on:win
Free Download for Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP

100,000 + Downloads

media sites

How to Recover Opening Password for Excel File with Passper for Excel

Download Passper for Excel to your computer first. Then do the steps below.

Step 1Launch Passper for Excel and select the option of "Recover Passwords" option on the main user interface.

recover password step1    

Step 2Add the decrypted Excel file to this program by clicking "+" button. Then select preferred Attack Mode out of Brute Force, Combination, Dictionary or Mask Attack. Find out more about these attack modes below.

recover password step2    

Dictionary Attack: This attack mode imports the dictionary file from the password dictionary for Passper for Excel or dictionary file imported online to explore and recover the password for the Excel file. Passper will scan through the dictionary to locate your password.

Combination Attack: Combines the characters including symbols and numbers randomly until the right password is found.

Mask Attack: The mask attack mode requires you to know some parameters of your password such as length and the combination of alphabets and special characters in the password.

Brute Force Attack: This mode will explore every character to recover your Excel password. On the whole, it will take the longest time.

Step 3After the recovery process is complete, the tool will display the password.

recover password step3    

Whenever you need to recover your Excel password, you can use Passper for Excel to break any complex or simple passwords. The tool is safe and easy to use and we also receive good feedback of our office password recovery tools from our users.

user feedback

Tip 5. Unprotect Workbook Without Password Using 7-ZIP

This method works for Excel files in .xlsx format. Therefore, if your Excel worksheet is saved in .xls format, you have to save it in .xlsx format.

Step 1. Change the file name extension from .xlsx to .zip and click on "Yes" when you get the prompt.

change file extension

Step 2. Use 7ZIP to open the ZIP archive. Open the folder named "xl->worksheets" where you will see the files, sheet1.xml, sheet2.xml, sheet3.xml. To unprotect Excel sheet2, right-click on "sheet2.xml" and click on Edit then open with Notepad.

edit sheet file

Step 3. Delete the tag that starts with "sheetProtection".

delete sheetprotection tag

Step 4. Save the sheet2.xml and close the file.

Step 5. Update the modified sheet2.xml in the ZIP archive and close the ZIP archive.

Step 6. Change the ZIP file extension back to .xlsx and then you will be able to open and edit the Excel sheet.


Check the comparison of above 5 methods and choose one that suits best for you.

Recovery Rate Recovery Speed Recover Opening Password Remove Restrictions Data Loss
VBA Code / 700,000/S Data Loss
Remove Protection Tag / 900,000/S Data Loss
Google / 1,000,000/S Data Loss
Passper for Excel 100% 3,000,000/S No Data Loss
7-ZIP / 609,000/S No Data Loss

These methods described above can help you unprotect Excel sheet without password. They may seem like complex methods, but they are quite effective especially if you use Passper for Excel Password Recovery Software. Save yourself the trouble and get Passper for Excel today.

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


By Ronnie Barnes to Excel

Posted on Apr 16, 2019 ( Updated: Jun 18, 2019 )

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