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How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password?


By Janice

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How to unprotect Excel sheet without password

Many people use protection to keep their Excel sheets safe. Sometimes you get a protected Excel sheet and do not know the password to access it.

Whatever the reason, you might have lost the password or forgotten it. If you can’t access the Excel Sheet that is protected, do not worry about creating a new sheet.

There are various ways to unprotect Excel Sheets without passwords. Do not skip this article if you want to know how to do it.

We have listed multiple methods to help you solve this problem.

Without any further ado, let’s get started.

PS: You may want to learn more about removing hyperlinks in Excel.

Method 1: How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password in the VBA Code?

You can unprotect the Excel Sheets using the VBA Code. However, it only works on MS Excel version 2010 and versions older than this.

Steps to Unprotect Excel Sheet

1. Launch the Excel Sheet that is protected by the password. Press the ALT and F11 keys to open the Visual Basic Editor.

2. Right-click on the workbook name; this is a Project-VBA window. Now, hit the menu’s ‘Insert’ and the ‘Module’ buttons.

3. You will notice a window where you must paste the code written below.

Sub PasswordBreaker()
‘Breaks worksheet password protection.

Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer
Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer
Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer
Dim i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer

On Error Resume Next
For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66
For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66
For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66
For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126

ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _
Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _
Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)

If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
MsgBox “Password is ” & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _
Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _
Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)

Exit Sub
End If
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
End Sub

After copying the code, tap on the ‘Run’ option or hit the F5 key and hang around for some time.

The macro will come back with a fresh password. However, this password is not original to the protected Excel Sheet, but it works fine.

There is no requirement to copy the password or try to remember it. Just tap on the ‘OK’ button, and the protection sheet will be free of protection.

Tips to Remember

  • If there is more than one protected sheet, run VBA macro for every sheet
  • If you have the MS Excel version 2013 or 2016, save the files like the MS Excel 97-2003 workbook and the ‘XLS’ extension. Now, you can run the VBA macro to unprotect your sheets and save the files as .xlsx

Besides, we will unlock the power of Google Sheets by learning how to highlight duplicates in Google Sheets. Improve your productivity with our comprehensive guide.

Method 2: Unprotect Excel Sheet with the Help of PassFab for Excel

This tool is widely used to restore lost or forgotten passwords for MS Excel files. Other than this, PassFab for Excel removes the restrictions for MS Excel Sheets and workbooks.

PassFab for Excel guarantees that the data won’t be lost after using it. It supports MS Excel versions from 97 to 2019.

Features of PassFab for Excel

  • There is a 100% success rate upon using this tool to remove protection and restrictions. You can make changes, copy, and print the sheets
  • The process of password removal takes only three seconds
  • PassFab for Excel is a trusted tool for removing protection. It is recognized by a few well-known websites, such as Macworld and MakeUseOf. This proves the safety and security of using this tool
  • Restore the passwords in a short period to access the locked file. PassFab for Excel has a quick response rate and does the work efficiently

2.1: Get Rid of the MS Excel Worksheet Protection

Install the ‘PassFab for Excel’ on the PC. Now, follow the steps mentioned below to execute the process.

1. After installing the program, select the ‘Remove Excel Restriction Password‘ option.

PassFab for Excel

2. Add the MS Excel protected sheet and tap on the ‘Remove‘ option.

PassFab for Excel - Import Excel File
PassFab for Excel - Remove Excel Restriction Password

3. It will take around three seconds to eliminate the password. The unprotected MS Excel sheet will automatically open to be edited.

PassFab for Excel - Remove Successfully

2.2: Restore the Password to Unlock MS Excel Sheets

Steps to Perform This Method

1. Open PassFab for Excel and choose the ‘Recover Excel Open Password‘ option from the main UI.

PassFab for Excel

2. Upload the decrypted file to the program. Use the ‘+‘ key to execute the file upload process. Now, choose an attack mode according to your file.

PassFab for Excel - Import Excel File
The Three Attack Modes Are Mentioned Below. See Which Attack Mode Fits for Your File.
  • Brute-Force with Mask Attack: In this attack mode, you need to know something about the password: the length or placement of special characters or alphabets.
  • Brute-Force Attack: This mode will discover each character to find the MS Excel password. And it takes the longest time
  • Dictionary Attack: Dictionary mode imports a list of possible passwords for the Excel Sheet. PassFab for Excel will scan the list to find the password for your Sheet.
PassFab for Excel Recover Excel Open Password

3. As soon as the recovery process finishes, the program will show the password on the screen.

How To Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password Using PassFab for Excel

PassFab for Excel can break simple and complex passwords of the protected MS Excel sheet. It is easy and safe to operate.

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Method 3: How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password Via the Removal of Protection Tag?

There is a fine line between a password-protected MS Excel Sheet or workbook and an unprotected MS Excel Sheet or workbook.

Steps to Execute This Method

1. Make the MS Excel file and secure it with a password. Now, make another file without any password protection.

Make the MS Excel file and secure it with a password

2. Now, make changes in the file extension to .zip format and take the help of a file extraction tool to unzip both the MS Excel files. Then, save the files in unique folders with unique names.

3. Open every folder and analyze the /xl/workbook.xml file. You will see that the file protected by a password has a label <workbookProtection…/>. On the other hand, the unprotected workbook won’t have this label.

How to unprotect Excel sheet without password by Removal of Protection Tag

4. Get rid of the password-protected MS Excel Sheet and the workbook labels. Now, save the file.

5. Now, use the extraction tool to include the files within the 2nd folder and change the file extension to .xlsx. Now, open the file, and you will notice that the protected password has been eliminated.

Method 4: Unprotect the Sheets Online by Google

To avoid data loss, try to create a backup of the MS Excel Sheet, then follow the steps mentioned below to get rid of the password.

Steps to Unprotect the Sheets

1. Launch Google Docs. Log in to your account on Gmail.

2. Select the ‘Open File Picker’ option.

3. You will see a dialog box; select the ‘Upload’ option to add the password-protected MS Excel Sheet.

4. As soon as you are done uploading the Excel Sheet, the file will display in Google Docs. Go to the ‘File’ option, select the ‘Download As’ button, and choose the ‘Microsoft Excel’ option.

How To Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password by Google

5. Your MS Excel will be unprotected because it is downloaded on the PC.

After all these steps, when you open the file on the PC, it will not ask for any password. You can make changes, copy, or print the file.

Method 5: How to Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password with 7-ZIP?

This particular method works perfectly for MS Excel files in the .xlsx format. So, if your MS Excel Sheet is saved in the format .xls, you need to change it to the .xlsx format.

Steps to Perform This Method

1. Make changes in the file name extension from .xlsx format to .zip format and tap on the ‘Yes’ option.

Make changes in the file name extension from .xlsx format to .zip format

2. Use 7ZIP for opening the ZIP archive. Open the ‘xl->worksheets‘ named folder, where you will notice the files like sheet1.xml and sheet2.xml.

To unprotect Excel Sheet 1, just right-click on the sheet1.xml, tap on the ‘Edit’ option, and ‘Open with Notepad.’

How to unprotect Excel sheet without password with 7-ZIP

3. Eliminate the tag which starts from ‘sheetProtection.’

How To Unprotect Excel Sheet Without Password with 7-zip

4. Save the sheet1.xml file and close it.

5. Now, update the tailored sheet1.xml in the ZIP archive, then close it.

6. In the last step, change the extension name to .xlsx. You will get access to view and edit the MS Excel Sheet.


  1. Can I unprotect an Excel sheet without knowing the password?
    • Yes, you can unprotect an Excel sheet without knowing the password by using methods like VBA code or online tools.
  2. Is it legal to unprotect someone else’s Excel sheet?
    • Unprotecting someone else’s Excel sheet without proper authorization may violate privacy or intellectual property rights. Ensure you have the necessary permission before attempting to unprotect someone else’s sheet.
  3. Will unprotecting an Excel sheet remove all the data?
    • Unprotecting an Excel sheet does not remove any data. It only removes the password protection, allowing you to edit or modify the sheet.
  4. What should I do if I forget the password to unprotect my Excel sheet?
    • If you forget the password to unprotect your Excel sheet, you can try using VBA code or online tools to remove the protection.
  5. Are there any alternative methods to unprotect an Excel sheet?
    • The methods mentioned in this article are commonly used to unprotect Excel sheets. However, there might be other methods or software available, but caution is advised when using them.


The methods mentioned above will assist you in unprotecting the MS Excel Sheets without a password.

Now, you no more have to seek answers to ‘How to unprotect Excel sheet without password?’ We hope that this information was useful for you. Let us know if you try any techniques.


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