How to Break Excel File Password

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

Excel files are very important files that stores valuable data. These files are of utmost importance in any firm. And hence all the companies as well as users tend to protect the file with a password. But, sometimes users forget this password that can be used to unlock the file. This leads them in searching the Internet for how to break Excel password. If you are one of the above mentioned users that are looking to break open a password-protected Excel file, then your hunt is over.

Why people want to break Excel password? As mentioned earlier, Excel files are of importance to companies and users. They have valuable data stored in them and hence they are protected with password. Users tend to forget the password. This can be due to weak memory, jumbling between multiple passwords, misplacement of passwords, and many more such similar reasons. And this is why users tend to break Excel workbook password so as to get the valuable information stored in the file. Let us have a look at the possible solutions that will let you know how to crack Excel workbook password.

Solution 1: Use ZIP to Break Excel Password

Employment of this solution will need you to edit the xml file of the zip. Puzzled? You must be wondering as to where did the xml and zip file came into picture. Well, you need to follow the steps given below and know how to break password on Excel.

Step 1: Before we begin, you need to create a backup of the original file. This will be helpful if anything goes wrong. Now, all you need to do is change the extension of the file to .zip.

change extension

Step 2: Now, extract the contents of the zip file. In the extracted content, you will need to search the xml format of the file. This will be found in "worksheets" directory.

edit xml

Step 3: Once you find the xml file, open it in the xml editor. In the xml file, search for the "sheetProtection" term and remove it from the file. Once removed, save the file.

delete

Step 4: Change back the extension of the file as it was in the first place. When you try to open the file, no password will be needed. In addition to this, the solution can be used to know how to break password of Excel sheet for all types of Excel version such as Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, and many more.

Solution 2: Use VBA Code to Break Excel Worksheet

If you think that the above method does not work as per your needs, then there is one more way that can help you know how to break MS Excel password. This solution is used to open worksheets that are password protected in an Excel file. Follow the below steps to bypass Excel workbook password.

Step 1: Begin with opening the Excel file. Now open the worksheet that you need to unlock. All you need to do is press Alt + F11. This will land you in the macro editor.

Step 2: Double click on the sheet from the menu in the left that you need to break. This will open the General section page for the sheet. Now type in the following code in the General Declaration page:

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 "One usable 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
vba

Step 3: Press F5 and run the macro and your job here is done. Your Excel worksheet will be opened without a password. This solution is applicable to all types of Excel versions.

Solution 3: Use PassFab for Excel

When you feel that the above two methods are very confusing than you can always look up to PassFab for Excel. This tool is used to break open passwords for any version of Excel file. It is easy to use and follow. Moreover, it does not need much time to break a file. Follow the below steps to break password for Excel workbook.

Step 1: Run the tool and click on the Add on the main interface. Choose the Excel file you wish to break.

add excel file

Step 2: Next choose the type of attack you wish to perform on the file. The tool provides Brute-force with Mask, Brute-force, and Dictionary Attack. Adjust the parameters as per the type of attack that you have chosen.

choose attack

Step 3: Now click on Start button. The tool will remove the password for your file.

recover password

Summary

Long story short, you just had a look on the top 3 methods that will help you know how to crack Excel workbook password protection. You can use zip method, VBA code, or PassFab for Excel to break the file. Let us know if this article was helpful to you or not. Do let us know your feedback on this article and tell us about any other alternate solution by commenting below.

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