Home » Office Password Tips » Forgot Excel Workbook Password? How to Recover Excel Password

Forgot Excel Workbook Password? How to Recover Excel Password

Sometimes people use a password for their Excel document to protect them from modification or deletion. It can become frustrating to open a password protected Excel file if you forget its password. A few days ago, one of my business partners sent me a protected Excel sheet, which had some very important data. But unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the password. After a few hits and misses, we were able to find how to recover the Excel workbook password. So, if you are also struggling with the same issue and want to recover forgotten Excel sheet password, then keep on reading.

This article will focus on the best methods on how to recover Excel workbook password.

Method 1. Forgot Excel Workbook Password? Best Way to Recover

The best and most successful method to recover a forgotten Excel password is to use a third-party tool such as PassFab for Excel. PassFab is a very reliable Excel password recovery software to unlock the password of Excel workbook. You can easily remove or change the existing password of your Excel file without any data loss. No matter how complex the password is, Passfab can unlock it within a few minutes. You can also try and explore its features by using the free trial version before buying it.

Follow these steps if you forgot Excel password and want to unlock it:

Step 1: Download and Install PassFab for Excel

If you want to edit, print, or copy an encrypted Excel file you forgot the password, then go to PassFab website. Click on Free Trial to download the trial version of PassFab. You can also buy the full version if you want to explore all features.

Get PassFab for Excel Now

Follow the on-screen instruction to install PassFab. To complete the setup, click on Finish.

install passfab for Excel

Step 2: Select the method for password recovery

Open PassFab for Excel and click on Recover Excel Open Password. This mode uses three powerful attacks to recover the Excel password, including Dictionary Attack, Brute Force with Mask Attack, and Brute Force Attack.

install passfab for Excel

Step 3: Add a password-protected Excel file and select an attack mode

Click on + sign to add the encrypted Excel file.

add excel files in passfab

Browse through your computer to select the Excel file and click Open.

open excel file in passfab

Now select the attack mode from the following modes:

  • Dictionary Attack allows you to find the password from the customized and in-built dictionary
  • Brute Force with Mask Attack uses characters, symbols, and numbers to recover your Excel password. This mode works well if you remember the length or range of your password.
  • Brute Force Attack recover your Excel workbook password by using all possible combinations. This mode can take some time to recover the password.

choose the attack mode to recover Excel password

Step 4: Recover the password

Now click on Recover.

A window will appear on your screen asking you to confirm whether the Excel file needs a password to open it. Click on Continue.

confirm excel document require a password

Wait for a few minutes. A prompt window will appear on your screen with your forgotten password.

Recover Excel open password successfully

Read More: PassFab for Excel Review: Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Method 2. Forgot Excel Workbook Password? Recover Excel Password Online

If you don’t want to install software on your computer to recover a forgotten Excel sheet password, you can use the LostMyPass online password recovery tool. LostMyPass can remove password from all versions of encrypted MS Office Excel files. LostMyPass has a database of 3 million of the most popular passwords to recover your Excel password quickly and successfully.

Step 1: Go to LostMyPass website

Open lostmypass.com/file-types/ms-Excel/ in your browser.

recover excel password online if forgot excel password

Step 2: Add the file

Click on Click here or drop an Excel file to upload it. You can only upload a file of up to 100 MB.

Step 3: Open the file

Browse through your computer and select the password-protected Excel file, and then click Open.

Step 4: Recover the Password

Wait for a few minutes to complete the Excel password recovery process.

complete the Excel password recovery process in lostmypass

After the process is completed, your forgotten Excel password will be displayed on the screen. Copy this password and use it to unlock the encrypted Excel file.

use the forgotten excel password recovered by lostmypass

Disadvantages of using LostMyPass

  • This method is not very safe as it saves your Excel file on the cloud server and makes your data prone to breaches and risks.
  • This tool is unreliable because you can’t use it when you have no internet access.
  • It has a file size limit, and you can only upload a Excel file of up to 100 MB.

Method 3. Forgot Excel Password? Recover Excel Workbook Password Using ZIP

If you forgot your Excel workbook password, then you can use ZIP to unlock your Excel file by following these steps:

Step 1: Install Compression tool

Download and install a WinRAR, 7-zip, or any other compression tool on your computer.

install 7zip compression tool if forgot Excel password

Step 2: Rename the file

Use “.zip” instead of “.xlsx” to rename the file name extension. If you see a prompted warning, click on Yes.

rename the excel file to recover password

Step 3: Open the file

Right-click on the file and click on Open with, and select 7-zip.

open with 7-zip to recover excel password

Step 4: Navigate to xl \worksheets\

To get rid of the password from your Excel sheet navigate to xl \worksheets\ and click on the file whose password you have forgotten. Right-click on this file and select the Edit option.

edit the excel sheet

Step 5: Delete the tag

A file will open in notepad; find the tag “” by pressing keys Ctrl+F in it. After finding it delete this tag.

find tag and delete it if forgot excel password

Step 6: Save the file

Save this file by pressing Ctrl+S and close the notepad. Rename the file back to .xlxs. Your Excel sheet is unlocked now.

Disadvantages of using ZIP method

  • This method is complicated and not suitable for novices.
  • This method can cause data loss and doesn’t guarantee success.

Method 4. Forgot Excel Password? Recover Excel Workbook Password Using VBA Code

A VBA code can also fix the problem of forgotten passwords in Excel. A brute force method is needed to unlock the files from the newer version of Excel; however, Excel version 2010, 2007, and earlier can be unlocked by using this method.

Use these steps to recover Excel workbook password through VBA code:

Step 1: Open the file

Open the encrypted Excel file whose password you forgot.

Step 2: Open Visual Basic

To open the application of Microsoft Visual Basic, press the ALT + F11 keys on the keyboard.

Step 3: Select module

From the toolbar, click on Insert and select the option Module.

Use VBA method if forgot excel workbook password

Step 4: Enter VBA code

Enter the following VBA code:

enter vba code to recover forgotten excel password

Step 5: Run this code

After you are done pasting the code, press the F5 key to run this VBA code.

run vba code

Wait for a few minutes. A prompt window will appear on your screen click OK. Your forgotten Excel password will appear on-screen. Note this password down and use it to open the encrypted Excel file.

use the forgotten excel password recovered by vba

Disadvantages of using VBA code

  • It is a very complicated method, and not everyone can use it accurately.
  • It is very time-consuming.


Recovering a forgotten Excel workbook password can be very stressful and time-consuming. You can use any of the methods mentioned above to unlock an Excel workbook if forgot password. However, we suggest you use PassFab for Excel. Passfab is a powerful Excel password recovery tool that can recover your Excel password in a few minutes and has no file size limit.

Get PassFab for Excel Now

Leave a Comment