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.
Follow the on-screen instruction to install PassFab. To complete the setup, click on Finish.
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.
Step 3: Add a password-protected Excel file and select an attack mode
Click on + sign to add the encrypted Excel file.
Browse through your computer to select the Excel file and click Open.
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.
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.
Wait for a few minutes. A prompt window will appear on your screen with your forgotten password.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Step 3: Open the file
Right-click on the file and click on Open with, and select 7-zip.
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.
Step 5: Delete the tag
A file will open in notepad; find the tag “
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.
Step 4: Enter VBA code
Enter the following VBA code:
Step 5: Run this code
After you are done pasting the code, press the F5 key to run this 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.
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.