How to Decrypt Excel File

/ Posted by Shirley Howard to Excel / Follow @Shirley Howard

Excel files are important to us because we use them for various personal and official projects. We don't want our important files get damaged, altered or edited by anyone else. So setting a password for an excel file becomes a necessary thing to do sometimes. But the main problem starts when you forget the password of your excel file. If you are reading this article, you won’t have to worry at all. You will find the best solutions to learn how to decrypt Excel password easily. Also sometimes you want to decrypt an Excel file for personal reasons. You have come to the right place for your problem!

Option 1: Decrypt Excel File When You Know Password

If you know the password of the excel file you want to decrypt, then you won’t have to do much. For different versions of Microsoft Excel the options may be slightly different, but the main thing is still the same. Just follow the below steps to learn how to decrypt Excel file.

For Excel 2010 and above:

  • Open a new blank Microsoft Excel workbook.
  • new blank excel 2010                                                                    
  • Go to “File” from the top left corner of the menu, click on “Info” and then click on “Protect Workbook” option from the “Permissions” option.
  • secure excel workbook file 2010  
  • You will see a dropdown menu like below and now click on “Encrypt with Password”.
  • Now remove the password and press “OK”
  • remove password excel 2010  
  • Save the file.

For Excel 2003 and above:

  • Open a new blank Microsoft Excel workbook.
  • new blank excel 2003  
  • Go to “Tools” option from the menu bar and then select “Options…”.
  • tools option excel 2003  
  • Now you will see a new window and you will have to go to the “Security” option from the 13 options presented before you.
  • security advanced excel 2003  
  • Remove the password from the “Password to open” box and click on “OK”.
  • Save the file.

Option 2: Decrypt Excel file When You Lost Password

If you don’t know the password of the Excel file you want to decrypt, then you will have to use proper methods to solve your problem. Follow these steps to learn how to decrypt Excel file password.

Solution 1 – Use Zip Software

If you can’t edit a worksheet and the structure of a workbook/worksheet is locked, then you can use this method. If your file is password protected, then you won’t be able to use this method. In this method you will have to use a zip software to decrypt the Excel file. Follow these steps to learn how to decrypt Excel password by using a zip software.

  • First you will change the file extension of the excel file from “.xlsx” to “zip”. You will be able to see the file extension after the file name of your excel file.
  • rename file  
  • Now you will have to extract the zip file by using any zip extractor like “7zip” or “WinRAR”. Right click on the zip file and choose “Extract Here”. You will get a folder with the same name of your excel file.
  • zip file extraction  
  • Now open the “xl” folder and “also “worksheets” folder which will give you all the sheets of the document file. Each sheet will be named as, “sheet1.xml”.
  • sheets xml  
  • Choose “Edit” by right clicking on the locked worksheet, it will open the file in notepad. Now, tap on “Ctrl+F” button from the keyboard to find "sheetProtection" or "workbookProtection" in the file. You will find the information of the algorithm that is used to lock this sheet.
  • Now, delete all the information inside the brackets and also the word “sheetProtection” and save the file.
  • Now select the file and press “Ctrl+C” to copy it and open the Zip file by double clicking on it. You won’t have to extract the file now.
  • zip file  
  • This time go to the folder where you have saved the worksheet. Open the ‘xl” folder and “worksheets” folder. Your edited “workbook.xml” file will be in the “xl” folder.
  • Now paste the edited file in this folder by overwriting the old file. Finally you can close the zip file and rename the file as “xlsx” which will bring back your excel file again.
  • excel file  
  • Open the “xlsx” file, you will see that you can edit the file without the password now!

Solution 2 – Use PassFab Excel Password Recovery

The best way to recover your lost Excel password is to use PassFab Excel Password Recovery tool. With a multi-core GPU acceleration, this tool will be able to retrieve your lost Excel password in almost no time. Just follow these below steps to help yourself out with this useful software.

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  • Install the Excel Password Recovery software on your PC and launch it to start the process.
  • Add the Excel file and select one decryption method that matches your situation.
  • import file
  • Click on “Start” and wait till the software decrypts the password. It may take some time depending on your password.
  • recovering password
  • You will see a pop up window with your password.
  • show password
  • Use the password and follow Option 1 again to decrypt your Excel file.

Many people want to decrypt Excel password but they fail miserably because they don’t follow proper steps or use proper methods. Reading this article will help you understand that decrypting an excel password is easy with PassFab Excel Password Recovery. If you know the password of an excel file, that’s totally fine, it will be easier for you to decrypt the file. But if you don’t know the password, then you need to use better software to find a better solution. Without thinking twice, you can use Excel Password Recovery and decrypt any Excel file of your choice in a very short time.

Free Try PassFab Excel Password Recovery Now:
Free Download For Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download
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