Excel documents are useful for many business purposes. They make it easy to organize data so that it is easy to access and analyze. For this reason, it is not uncommon for Excel documents to contain a lot of important business information and to protect the data; a lot of people choose to protect the document and the data on it with a password.
The problem is while Microsoft provides you with an easy way to protect Excel documents, they didn’t share a way to break Excel password in case you forget it. In fact, Microsoft’s official position is that there is no way to gain access to the document if you lose the password. But as you’ll find out in the course of this article, this is simply not true. There are several ways to break Excel password and we will share with you some of the most effective.
1. The Types of Password to Protect an Excel Document
Before we get to the various ways you can break Excel password, it is important to describe the 2 types of passwords that you can use in Excel. They include the following:
Read-Only Password - when a read-only password is set on the document, anyone without the password may be able to read the document. But they will not be able to save the changes unless they rename the document.
Password to Open - this is the password that keeps you from opening the encrypted document. Without this password, you may not be able to access the document in any way.
2. How to Break Excel Password if the File is in Read Only Mode
If you are able to open and read the document, but you are prevented from making any changes to the document, the following solutions can be very useful.
2.1 Using Passper Excel Password Breaker
This first method is the best solution to break read-only restrictions on any Excel document. Passper Excel Password Breaker is very easy to use, meaning you spend less time trying to go through lengthy and time-consuming processes and skip right to editAing the document. The following are some the program’s most useful features:
- Break opening passwords and remove editing restrictions from the document without affecting the data on the Excel, including the external links.
- For password to open, it has a very high success breaking rate because it utilizes four different attack 4 modes to make the process much easier.
- For read-only password, the successful breaking rate is 100%.
- Passper is designed to make the whole process very easy. You can break Excel password in just a few simple steps.
Here’s how to use Passper for Excel to beak Excel password if the file is in read-only mode:
Step 1: Download and Install Passper for Excel on to your computer. Open the program and then select “Remove Restrictions” from the main window.
Step 2: Click on “Add” to import the document into the program. Once the document is open in Passper, click on “Remove” and the program will begin removing the restriction.
In about 3 seconds, any restrictions on the document will be removed, allowing you to edit the document at any way you want.
2.2 Break Excel Password in VBA Code
You might be able to remove editing restrictions on an Excel document using a VBA code. But you cannot break the Excel password for all sheets in one click by using VBA codes. Follow these simple steps to do it:
This method may be effective in removing read-only restrictions, but it does have a few shortcomings including;
- If the document contains more than one sheet, you will need to run the process for each sheet to break the Excel password
- The process doesn’t work for newer versions of Excel like Excel 2013 and Excel 2016. You may have to first of all save the document as an Excel 97-2003 workbook before you can use this method to unprotect it.
Step 1: Open the protected file on your computer and then hit “Alt + F11” on your keyboard to open the VBA window.
Step 2: Click on “Insert” and then select “Module”.
Step 3: In the General section of the window that pops up, enter the VBA code (you can find the code online).
Step 4: Hit “F5” on your keyboard to run the code. In a few minutes, a popup box will appear with the password. Copy the password and use it to unlock the protected document.
2.3 By Copying the File
Another really simple way to remove restrictions from an Excel document is to copy the contents on the document on to a new sheet. Here’s how to do that:
Step 1: Open the protected Excel worksheet and place the cursor in “A1” cell. Press “Shift + Crtl + End” to select everything on the worksheet.
Step 2: Press “Ctrl +C” to copy the selected data.
Step 3: Now open a new worksheet and place the cursor in “A1”. Press “Ctrl + V” to paste the contents on to the new workbook that should be editable.
2.4 Break Excel Password Using 7-Zip
You can also use an archive program like 7-Zip to break restrictions from an Excel document. The process involves changing the file extension to remove the password. The following simple steps will guide you through the process:
Step 1: Begin by making a backup of your document. This process will not affect the data on the device, but caution is always advised to prevent data loss. You can simply copy the file to another location to create the backup.
Step 2: Now rename the document’s extension from .xlsx to .zip.
Step 3: Use 7-Zip or another archive program to open the zip file.
Step 4: Find the “xl” folder in the list of file and open it to find the “worksheets” folder. Here you will find a list of the worksheets on the document.
Step 5: Open the first worksheet “sheet1.xml” and open it in Notepad. Look for the line that begin with <sheetProtection algorithmName=”SHA-512″ hashValue=“and select everything between “<” and “>” and delete it.
Step 6: Save the file and rename the file extension from .zip back to .xlsx and all your worksheets will be unprotected.
3. How to Break Excel Password to Open
If on the other hand, you have forgotten or lost the opening password for the Excel document, the only way to open the document is to break the password to open. Fortunately, Passper Excel Password Breaker can be very useful in this regard. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Open Passper Excel Password Breaker on your computer and in the main window, select “Recover Password” Click on the “’Add” button to import the protected document on to the program.
Step 2: When the document is open in Passper, the next step is to select an attack mode. Choose one from the 4 based on how complex the password is.
Step 3: The program will then begin recovering the password immediately. After a while, the recovered password will be displayed. You can then use the password to break Excel document.
The solutions above are aimed at helping you break Excel/Excel Workbook password. Choose a solution that best suits your particular needs.