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Sunday, May 13, 2012

How to Remove, Crack, or Break a Forgotten Excel XLS Password

Have you forgotten your Excel password for a workbook or sheet? Or has someone left your office and they forgot to unlock an Excel workbook with a password set on it? If you’re stuck with an XLS file with a password that you need to break or crack, you can try out a small little utility that just might be able to get you back into your Excel file.
Remove Excel Passwords

Excel Password Remover 2007 is a freeware program that you can use to remove/crack/break/unlock a password on an Excel workbook or sheet. However, you still have to be able to open the file itself. If the file is protected in that you cannot even open the file without typing a password, I’ll mention another program that you can use to crack that Excel password.

However, for most Excel password protection, it’s usually on the workbook or sheet so that someone can view the file, but not make structural changes to the file or changes to the cells. If this is your case, download the add-in and double-click on it. Excel will open and you’ll be asked whether to enable or disable the macros associated with the add-in. Of course, enable it.

Then go ahead and open the Excel workbook that has the password on it that you would like to get rid of. There will be two new menu options under Tools, called Unprotect Sheet and Unprotect Workbook.

crack excel password

I created a test workbook and protected both the sheet and the workbook with a simple password at first. The program worked perfectly and it removed the protection very quickly!

remove excel password

However, I decided to see how well it worked with a fairly complex password set to the workbook! I used 9 character password that had a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and a symbol to put the Excel password remover to the test and I was quite surprised that it actually managed to crack it after about 2 minutes! Not bad at all!!!

Note, however, that this program only works with Excel 2000, XP and 2003. Excel 2007 has much stronger encryption and this little tool would take centuries trying to crack that.
Remove Excel Protection and Remove VBA Passwords

Now if you’re trying to crack the password that is needed to open the Excel file itself, you will have to try out some other programs, which unfortunately are not free like the one above, however, there are your best chance at getting into that Excel file.

Excel Key recovers all types of passwords for Excel (xls) spreadsheet files including sheet, workbook, file open, etc. This program also works up to Excel 2007. You can download a demo of the program that will only display the first two characters of the password, however, this might be enough to jog some people’s memory! If you still can’t remember, you can buy it for $45.

excel password recovery

If you need to crack an Excel VBA password, you should check out VBA Key from the same company. It supports all office products including Word, Excel, Access, etc for VBA password recovery. It also supports multilingual passwords. It also costs $45.

Any other Excel password recovery tool you use that you would want to mention? Post a comment! Enjoy!

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