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How to Remove Workbook or Worksheet Password from Excel

Remove Excel Passwords

Everyday we have to remember hundreds of passwords, both in our personal and professional lives. And it's only human to forget some of them every now and then, as long as we know how to retrieve those passwords or reset them. Resetting passwords for a web service like Gmail, or Facebook is easy. But what about a software, like Excel.

Excel has multi-level protection for it's users. You can add a password to protect the Workbook, Worksheets, you can even protect the VBA code inside the Excel Workbook with a password. If you forget one of these passwords, there is not normal way (like Gmail, or Facebook) to reset those password. Here we will discuss how to remove passwords from an Excel Workbook or Worksheet.

Method 1: The manual way

This is a full-proof method that would work on any file type, including macro and add-ins. You will not use any data using this method.

Here is where you can find out if your Excel Workbook or Worksheet is password protected:

Remove Excel Workbook Password

Remove Excel Worksheet Password

You can have either or both of them locked like above. The process to remove both of these passwords are similar:

1. Close the Excel file
2. Rename the Excel file and add a ".zip" extension in the end of the original file name (do not delete the existing extension like .xlsx, .xls, .xlsm etc.) CLick "Yes" to confirm

Remove Excel Workbook Password

3. The Excel file will get converted into a ZIP file automatically because of step 2. Open the ZIP file by double-clicking on it. Inside the ZIP file, you'll see many folders and files. Now, if your Excel Workbook is protected, or if both the Workbook and Worksheet is protected then follow the next step. Otherwise, if only your Excel Worksheet is protected, jump to step 10
5. Inside the ZIP file there would be a folder called "xl". Go inside that folder and search for a file called "workbook.xml"

Remove Excel Workbook Password

6. Copy/Paste that file on your Desktop and open it using Notepad
7. Now try searching for a similar text as below inside the .xml file, this will always start with a "workbookProtection" tag

Remove Excel Worksheet Password

8. Remove that entire highlighted piece of code and save the file
9. Copy/Paste that updated file on your desktop back to the ZIP file where you found it, confirm to overwrite
10. Now, inside the "xl" folder you would find another folder named "worksheets". Go inside this folder and search for a file name "sheet1.xml" (if your Excel has multiple sheets, use the corresponding sheet number which you would like to unlock the password for)

Remove Excel Worksheet Password

11. Copy/Paste that file on your Desktop and open it using Notepad
12. Now try searching for a similar text as below inside the .xml file, this will always start with a "sheetProtection" tag

Remove Excel Passwords

13. Remove that entire highlighted piece of code and save the file
14. Copy/Paste that updated file on your desktop back to the ZIP file where you found it, confirm to overwrite
15. Now close the ZIP file and remove the ".zip" extension that you had added earlier

Now if you open the Excel file, you'll see that the Workbook/Worksheet passwords have been removed.

Method 2: Remove Excel Worksheet/Workbook Password using iSeePassword Dr.Excel (Easy Way)

If the last method doesn't work for you, then iSeePassword Dr.Excel will be your right-hand man, which can decrypt any pattern of password whatever it's simple or complicated. Not only it can remove worksheet/workbook password but it also can remove the Excel open password without damaging original data. You can choose any one of the option according to your requirement.

The latest version of Dr.Excel now supports removing Excel AES 128-bit encrypted Excel files, and fully support all the Excel Editions including 2006/2007/2010/2012/2013/2016/2019/2020.
how to remove Excel password
Function 1: Remove Excel Worksheet/WorkBook Password

Step 1. Firstly, get the software downloaded to the computer which contains the locked excel file. Install it with on screen instructions. Then select the option "Remove Workbook/Worksheet Password".
how to remove Excel password
Step 2. In this window, import your locked Excel file to program by choosing "Add File", you're allowed to import multiple files at once.
how to remove Excel password
Step 3. Now, just click the Start button to let the Dr.Excel remove your worksheet protection, and you will see the password will be removed instantly.
how to remove Excel password
Function 2: Recover Forgotten Open Password from Excel

For Excel open password, Dr.Excel also can easily get it done! By using the latest password algorithm, Dr.Excel can restore the original password in a short time without touching your data.

Step 1. From the home window, select the option "Recover Open Password from Excel" and click next.

Step 2. Click on "Add file" to browse and load the target encrypted Excel file and then choose any of the aforementioned password removal type from options shown below in the tool page.
how to remove Excel password
In order to increase the speed, Dr.Excel added GPU acceleration which speed up the password recovery speed by 10 times.
how to remove Excel password
Step 3. As soon as the process starts, the progress info will be shown on screen using a progress bar. It may take some time depending upon the length of the password. Once it is removed it will be shown on screen.
how to remove Excel password
NOTE: Check the "Shutdown computer once the password is found" check box if that's you wish to happen. Otherwise you can leave it unchecked.

The mentioned methods will work perfectly. But yet it is better to choose a method with reliable and more options. For that iSeePassword Dr.Excel is a much better and easier option.

Method 3: Using Google Sheet

This method is way easy to use, but you would lose all your macro/add-in codes, named ranges etc. However, if you are not worried about those then this is the quickest way to unlock your Excel Workbook or Worksheet. This method would remove both passwords at the same time.

1. Open any webgrowser and go to Google Sheets
2. Upload your locked Excel file on Google Sheets
3. Download the Google Sheet as .xlsx file

Voila! Both the passwords have been removed! Wasn't that quick!

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