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Top Methods to Unlock an Excel Document In 2024

Kelly Sherawat
Kelly Sherawat Originally published May 22, 24, updated May 22, 24
unprotect an excel document

“I forgot my Excel document password. Is there a way to unlock an Excel document without a password?” Yes, there is! Several methods allow you to unprotect (unlock) an Excel document so you can edit or view a password-protected Excel worksheet or workbook.

If you’ve locked an Excel sheet with a password but forgot it along the way, you can unlock your document using several Excel unlocking methods, such as unlocking your document with Google Sheets, using online Excel document unprotection services, or unprotecting an Excel document without a password.

Today, we’ll discuss everything you should know about unprotecting an Excel document to show you how to unlock a protected Excel spreadsheet with or without a password.

In this article

Part 1. Unprotecting an Excel Document: Workbook vs Worksheet

unlock an excel document workbook

Workbook and worksheet are two different terms used in Excel. The users typically protect the structure of their Excel workbook with a password to prevent third parties from accessing their documents, including viewing, renaming, hiding, deleting, moving, and adding worksheets.

On the other hand, protecting a worksheet allows you to shield specific areas of the Excel data in your worksheet from third parties.

Unprotecting a worksheet gives access to those particular areas to other users while unprotecting a workbook document allows others to change the worksheets stored in a workbook.

Below are the top methods to unprotect your Excel workbook or worksheet with and without a password.

Part 2. How to Unprotect an Excel Workbook Document?

Excel comes with many useful features, including the option to protect/unprotect your Excel documents at the cell, spreadsheet, or workbook level.

Below is the step-by-step guide to unprotecting the structure of your Excel workbook document:

Step 1: Open the Excel workbook you wish to unprotect;

Step 2: Navigate to the Review tab and click Protect Workbook (if a workbook is protected, the Protect Workbook button will be highlighted in green);

Step 3: Uncheck the Structure box in the Protect Structure and Windows window and click OK.

unlock an excel document workbook

Part 3. How to Unprotect an Excel Worksheet Document

If you know the password, unprotecting an Excel worksheet document is a straightforward process. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open the protected worksheet in Excel;

Step 2: Navigate to Review > Unprotect Sheet;

unlock excel document unprotect worksheet

Step 3: Enter the password and click OK;

unprotect excel document worksheet password

Step 4: You can now modify the unprotected spreadsheet.

unprotect excel document worksheet modification

Part 4. How to Unprotect an Excel Document Without a Password

If you’ve protected your Excel spreadsheet or workbook with a password but can’t remember how it goes, you can use a workaround to identify the forgotten password and gain access to the protected document.

In such situations, use a Virtual Basic script as a macro to uncover the password by following the steps below:

Step 1: Open the protected Excel document and navigate to the Developer tab;

Step 2: Select View Code (or press Alt + F11);

excel document password remover

Step 3: Type the following code in the Code window:

excel document password remover view code

Step 4: Click Run or hit F5 to execute the code, then click OK to unprotect your Excel document without a password.

Part 5. How to Unprotect an Excel Worksheet With Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a free online app you can use to unprotect an Excel workbook and remove protection from all sheets in a workbook. Use your Google account to sign in to Google Sheets, then follow the steps below to unprotect an Excel worksheet online with the app for free.

Step 1: Open your web browser and visit Google Drive;

Step 2: Click + New;

unlock excel document online

Step 3: Select Google Sheets > Blank spreadsheet;

unlock excel document online google sheets

Step 4: Navigate to File > Import;

unlock excel document online import worksheet

Step 5: Select the Upload tab and click Select a file from your device;

unlock excel document online upload file

Step 6: Select the Excel worksheet you want to unprotect and click Open;

unlock excel document online open worksheet

Step 7: In the Import file window, select Replace spreadsheet > Import data;

google sheets unlock excel document online

Step 8: Google Sheets will unprotect your Excel file;

Step 9: Select File > Download > Microsoft Exel (.xlsl);

Step 10: Name your Excel document and click Save.

unlock excel document online download

Part 6. How to Unprotect an Excel Document With Online Services

The last method helps you unprotect your Excel file using an online service.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open your browser and type password find online;

password find excel document password remover

Step 2: Visit the Password-Find Excel document password remover website and click Unprotect Your file;

excel document password remover unprotect file

Step 3: Click Browse to upload the Excel file you wish to unprotect;

excel document password remover browse file

Step 4: Click Remove password (recommended);

excel document password remover remove password

Step 5: Once Password-Find removes the password, select Click here to download the unprotected Excel file.

excel document password remove download file

Part 7. How to Repair Damaged Excel Documents After Unprotecting

excel file repair wondershare repairit

Say you’ve successfully unprotected your Excel document and want to open it. When you double-click it, your file appears inaccessible, corrupted, or unreadable. In such situations, you need a reliable file repair solution to resolve the file issue and recover your document.

Wondershare Repairit Excel File Repair is a powerful tool that can repair and recover inaccessible, lost, deleted, unreadable, or corrupted Excel files. The tool effectively repairs all Excel corruption errors, such as unrecognizable format and unreadable content.

  • Repair damaged Excel files with all levels of corruption, including blank files, files not opening, unrecognizable format, unreadable content, files layout changed, etc.

  • Repairs all kinds of data stored in damaged Excel files such as tables, charts, formulas, comments, images, etc.

  • Support all formats of Excel files: XLSX/XLSM/XLTX/XLTM/XLS

  • Perfectly repair corrupted files with a very high success rate, without modifying the original file.

  • No limit to the number and size of the repairable files.

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista, Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, and macOS 10.10~macOS 13.

  • Except Excel, Repairit also supports all formats of PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ZIP, and Adobe files.

Download and install the app on your computer, then follow the steps below to repair your Excel files after unprotecting.

Step 1: Launch the app on your computer and navigator to More Types Repair > File Repair;

wondershare repairit select excel file repair

Step 2: Click the + Add button to upload the Excel file or files you wish to repair;

wondershare repairit add excel files

Step 3: The app will list the uploaded files in the Unrepaired Files section;

Step 4: Select the Excel file and click Repair;

start the excel file repair process

Step 5: Click OK > Save to preview and save the repaired Excel files.

save the repaired excel files


This guide has listed the best, most effective methods to unprotect an Excel worksheet and workbook with and without a password. We’ve explained the difference between a workbook and a worksheet and provided the best solutions for bypassing the forgotten password problem.

We also shared the best file repair solution for repairing damaged, inaccessible, or corrupted Excel files after unprotecting them. Wondershare Reparit can help you repair problematic Excel files, ensuring you avoid Excel data loss.


  • I forgot my Excel document password. How can I unlock it?
    If you can’t remember your Excel password, you can unlock your Excel data using a Virtual Basic script as a macro to identify your password.
  • Why is it important to protect Excel documents?
    Protecting your Excel cells, sheets, and workbooks prevents others from accessing the critical data in your Excel documents. Protection restricts others from making any changes to your files.
  • Can I unlock Excel documents online?
    Yes, you can. You can use two methods to unprotect an Excel file online:
    Unprotect with Google Sheets;
    Unlock your document using an online service like Password-Find.
Kelly Sherawat
Kelly Sherawat May 22, 24
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Kelly Sherawat
Written by Kelly Sherawat
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