How To Open A Password Protected Excel File?

Q. Can I remove or change workbook passwords?
Ans. Yes, you can remove or change workbook passwords. Anybody who knows the current password can remove or change workbook passwords. The steps are pretty simple. All you have to do is open the desired workbook and click on the Unprotect Sheet, which will remove the password. To change the password, click on Protect Workbook and type and confirm the new password.


Protecting your important files with a password has become a sort of a must for everybody. With the ever-increasing cases of cyber theft, one always has to be on their toes when it comes to work-related data and numbers. Whether it is your personal computer or laptop, or your electronic device at your office, each of them should always be password protected to save yourself the trouble later.

As we mentioned above, it is possible to open a password-protected Excel file. And this post is all you need to make your spreadsheet workable once again. In addition to all these solutions, this post will also act as your guide on how you can open a corrupted Excel file with the aid of Stellar File Repair.

Part 1: How to Open Password Protected Excel File with Known Password

Since you are already aware of the password, part 1 is the simplest, easiest, and least time-consuming part. All that needs to be done by you is that you have to enter the password and the file will be opened in front of you in a matter of seconds.

These are the steps you can undertake to open password protected Excel file with a known password:

1. Open File - The first step is to go to the location where your to-be opened file is and double click on it. You can also right-click on the desired file and select the 'open' option. While there are other ways of opening the file too, these two are the most often selected ones.

2. Enter Password - Since the sheet you are striving to open is password-protected, you will be greeted with a pop-up where you will be asked to enter the password which will unprotect the sheet. Once unprotected, you will be able to see the contents of the sheet.

enter password

3. Click OK - Once you have entered the password, you will have to click on the 'OK' option which is present on the bottom right of the pop-up. This will lead you to the file, ready for you to see and work on it.

Another reason why this part has been termed as the easiest and fastest of all is that no matter which Excel version you are using - Excel 2007. Excel 2010, Excel 2016, or any other Excel version for that matter, the steps for each of them are the same.

Part 2: How to Unprotect Excel Spreadsheet without Software by VBA Code?

Microsoft developed a programming language named VBA which is a part of Microsoft Office. VBA is the acronym for Visual Basic for Applications and is used to accomplish thousands of different tasks such as maintaining a list of various things, helps you in forecasting & budgeting, helps you in analyzing scientific data & also aids developing charts.

One of its features from its basket of tasks is its ability to help you unprotect Excel spreadsheets without software. And it can be done by simply undertaking these 4 steps. Here they are:

1. Open Excel File - The primary thing you have to do is open the Microsoft Excel file in question.

2. Open VBA Editor - The simplest way to open VBA Editor is by pressing the Alt key and F11 key simultaneously.

3. Insert Module - The next step is to insert a module for Insert Menu

4. Enter Code - Once the code window is open in front of you, you will have to insert the following lines of code.

>Sub UnProtectWorkbook()

On Error GoTo ErrorOccured

Dim pwd1 As String, ShtName As String

pwd1 = InputBox("Please Enter the password")

If pwd1 = "" Then Exit Sub

ShtName = "Workbook as a whole"

ActiveWorkbook.Unprotect Password:=pwd1

MsgBox "The workbook's structure has been Unprotected."

Exit Sub

error occurred:

MsgBox "Workbook could not be UnProtected - Password Incorrect"

Exit Sub

End Sub

5. Save the File - After having entered the above code lines into the code window, press the 'Save' button. Your file will be saved in a macro-enabled workbook.

6. Press F5 - To execute the above steps of action, press F5.

Once you follow the steps carefully, you will be able to unprotect Excel Files without software by VBA Code.

Part 3: How to View / Open Protected Excel by Modifying the File Extension?

While these steps might not exactly be the best fit for newer Microsoft Office versions, they work amazingly well for Microsoft Office 2010 or any previous versions of the same.

You will be able to view or open protected Excel Files by modifying the file extension by following these super simple 10 steps:

  1. Create Backup - One of the most important things you have to do even before the procedure begins is to create a backup of the Excel file that is protected with a password.
  2. Rename File - After having created a backup, you need to rename the file by right-clicking on the excel sheet and clicking on the 'rename' button.
  3. Change Extension - Whether your file has a .csv extension or a .xls extension, it is time for you to change it to a .zip extension.

turn excel to zip

  1. Unzip Content - After having renamed the file and having changed the extension to .zip, it is time to unzip the content from the zip file.
  2. Search File - Now you need to search for the file that ends with a .xml format.
  3. Open File - After having found the file with .xml format, click on that file and open it with an XML editor.

extract files

  1. Press 'Ctrl + F' - Pressing the Ctrl button and F together will let you find your desired word. In this case, you are searching for the word 'SheetProtection'. You need to search for.

delete sheet protection

  1. Remove that Word - Once you have found that word, remove it from the file.
  2. Save File - After removing the word from the file, save it.
  3. Change Extension - Once you have saved the file, change back the file extension from .zip to .xls or .csv, whichever you prefer or want.

When you have successfully undertaken all the 10 steps written above, all your worksheets will be rendered unprotected. This means you will be able to open any of your files without having to type in the password.

Part 4: How To Unlock A Password Protected Excel File Online?

Are you faced with the issue that you forget your excel password? And you are thinking about using an online tool to unlock a password-protected Excel file, then the first thing you need to make sure of is to have a strong and reliable internet connection to save yourself from any obstruction while the task is being done.

While we are at it, it is also important to know that not all files can be unlocked. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that online methods of unlocking a password-protected Excel file work only when the strength of the password is not too strong. Also, it is not an entirely safe way of getting your Excel file unlocked. Thus, you should go for online methods only if the file in question does not contain life-altering data.

Since you have decided to go with online ways, here are 5 steps you will have to undertake to unlock excel passwords online and free:

  1. Open Site - Open the online portal you have chosen for your task.
  2. Upload File - Once you open the online window on your computer, you will see an option that says 'Drop file to upload or click here. You can either drop the Excel file from another window or you can click on the 'click here' option to search and upload your desired file.

upload excel

  1. Sit Back & Relax - Your job here is almost done because after uploading the file, the password recovery process will commence and start to do its work. The time it will consume depends on various factors and one of the most important of those is password strength. You can anytime see the progress of the process of recovery on the screen.
  2. Note Down the Password - Once the recovery process is completed, you will be able to see the cracked password on your screen. You can take a note of your password so that you do not forget it the next time.

OK, that is it! the step-by-step tutorial to unlock password-protected excel online for free.

Part 5: How to Open a Corrupted Excel File?

All of us have faced this issue when our file does not open because it is corrupted. The problem can become graver if you do not have a backup of your files.

The best and the simplest way though is to make use of Stellar Repair for Excel software because it lets you open your corrupt files which did not have any backup.

3 main methods can help you open a corrupt Excel file:

1. Open and Repair Method

You can manually repair damaged Excel files with the Open and Repair Method and does not require backup as well. Here are the steps that should be followed:

  • Click the MS Office tab
  • Click on Open
  • Once the 'Open' dialog box opens, choose the corrupt files
  • Click on the arrow and then 'Open and Repair'
  • Click the 'Repair' tab

open and repair excel

2. Excel File Repair Software

Third-party tools can be used to open corrupt files but one has to be exceptionally careful while choosing this third party. Make sure this third-party tool is reliable and can perform multiple tasks.

Stellar Repair for Excel is the most widely suggested tool to perform such kinds of functions. This software can effectively and easily repair XLS as well as XLSX files. Also, Stellar repair is available for both Windows and Mac OS. Here are some of the added advantages:

  • Can repair all corrupt Excel files
  • Can fix errors in Excel files
  • Can fix more than one damaged file at one time
  • Recovers formula, cell comments, images, table, chart sheet, charts, etc.
  • Preserves properties of Excel worksheets

3. Excel Auto Backup and Auto Recover Features

The newer versions of Excel come with two new features to reduce the chances of losing data in files due to file crashes, accidental deletion, power outage, or any other reason. These two features are named Excel Auto Backup and Excel Auto Recover.

Steps to Repair Excel file with Stellar File Repair:

  1. Download Stellar Repair software
  2. Install and launch it
  3. On the Home screen, you will find a few options. Select the one which lets you select the corrupted Excel files

select corrupt excel files

  1. Click on the 'browse' option which lets you select XLS and XLSX files

list of excel files

  1. Once you have selected the file/files, click on the 'repair' prompt to initiate the process of repairing
  2. Once the scanning ends, you will be able to see all the recoverable items on the left-hand side. Any of these can be previewed by double-clicking

preview the repaired excel files

  1. Click on the 'save file' prompt once you are satisfied with the preview.
  2. Choose the destination of your choice and click on 'ok'

save the repaired excel


Excel files are employed by most big and small companies to keep a track record of their finances, growth, input, output, and almost everything else that is business-related. Under such circumstances, when everything can be found in Excel files, they hold the whole circulatory system of your business. Thus, protecting them becomes a necessity. However, since so many files – personal and professional are password-protected, remembering so many passwords has become a task in itself too.

If you are somebody who is stuck with an Excel spreadsheet because you too put up a password and now cannot seem to remember it, we have got you covered with this post. By the way, Stellar Repair for Excel is a good choice for you.

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