Excel files can be password-secured in numerous ways. If an Excel 2003 file requires open password, you will have to use an Excel 2003 password recovery tool. If the Excel file is secured in such a way that you cannot make alterations to the system, however, you can roll out a couple of snappy developments to the data itself and totally open password protected Excel 2003 workbook or spreadsheet by using the solutions in this article.

Solution 1: How to Open Password Protected Excel 2003 File with Known Password

Apparently, Microsoft's spreadsheet software Excel has become one of the most notable applications for anyone and everyone. Thanks to its matrix interface, you can sort out a set of data according to your requirement or desire. And its perks are wider and fluctuated, they range from its functionality to use restrictive designing and data grouping to charts assembling, simple and viable correlations, patterns distinguishing, and online accessibility. Meanwhile, some other costly applications are quicker and more all-inclusive. However, this does not mean you need to evacuate necessary indemnity - applies to all versions of Microsoft Excel.

First, opening a password protected Excel 2003 file is a walk in the park if the password to such a file is known. This is because there will be no need to download external files or filing any report to the developers of Excel. To do this, one needs to follow the following outlined steps:

1. Navigate to and double-click on the particular Excel file to be opened. (It should have a file extension of either .xls or .xlsx; there are a lot more possible file extensions but these are probably the most popular.

XLS File

2. Once the file has been double-clicked on, a new window with the Excel app will open after a short while (usually a few seconds but this depends on your PC) and then prepares to open the requested file.

3. If the file is not protected, it will go ahead to display the content of the Excel file. If the file is protected, on the other hand, a window pops-up notifying the user that the file is encrypted and requires a password to be viewed, and, or edited.

Password-Protected Excel File

4. Upon the prompt, you will then enter the password to the encrypted file and hit Enter.

5. If the password is correct, access is granted to view, and, or edit the file. However, if the password entered is incorrect, the application will notify you and request that the correct password is entered to open your password protected Excel file.

Solution 2: How to Open Password Protected Excel 2003 File with Recovered Password

There might also be another incident where the password for the encrypted file has been forgotten. Or, there is need to access the file without knowing the password (e.g. investigations). In such a scenario where the password has been forgotten and no recovery measures were taken to guard against its loss, there is a number of third-party options available to help a user recover the password to an encrypted Excel 2003 file.

One of the best options available today is PassFab for Excel, which is a password remover for Microsoft Office apps as well as other desktop applications you use daily. Also, it is a powerful Excel 2003 password recovery tool that helps crack Excel 2003 password. Concise instructions on how to use PassFab for Excel 2003 assword recovery of encrypted Excel files are outlined below:

1. First off, the user would have to ensure that PassFab for Excel is properly installed on the p.c. It is essentially a paid app but a free trial exists. You can download it by clicking this download button.

2. Once PassFab for Excel has been properly installed on your computer, launch the application. Once it has been launched (double-clicked on), a window opens showing the main interface of the program.

passfab for excel

3. The path to the encrypted file is then added in the address bar provided. The file path of the encrypted file can easily be obtained by finding the location of the encrypted file, which requires you to double-click the address bar at the top to show the direct file path.

4. Then select and copy the network path (by hitting Ctrl+C), and pasting it (by hitting Ctrl+V) in the address bar. Once the network file path has been pasted onto the address bar, you should then click the "Add" button.

Open File

5. You then have to select from one of the three attack options. The options and when to use them are outlined below:

- Dictionary Attack: If you know the password used, all possible options should be typed in a txt file (using your preferred desktop note-taking application) and the txt file imported into the PassFab for Excel software. The software then automatically detect which password is correct. Also, it comes with a default dictionary that includes basic combinations like ABC.

Dictionary attack

- Brute Force with Mask Attack: If you remember certain characteristics about the forgotten password (such as a prefix, suffix, or even specific characters in the password), this becomes the most strongly recommended attack option.

Brute Force with Mask Attack

- Brute Force Attack: If you really have no idea what the password is, this is sort of a measure of last resort to be employed.

Brute Force Attack

6. Once the above steps have been followed, you have to hit the "Start" button so the Excel 2003 password recovery process begins.

start recovery

7. The process runs for a few minutes after which - once the correct password has been recovered - a window will pop up and display the correct password.

Password Found

With these steps, you can now gain access to the files that you want to view without any further barrier.


With the importance of Excel today, it is quite logical that data stored in such software are typically secured with a password. Worthy of note is that securing data in Excel is a layered procedure, which consists of password protection at both file and base levels.

Furthermore, all you need is an Excel 2003 password recovery tool that can utilize GPU acceleration. Still, you will need an Internet browser and an online administration with tables when you want to void any cracked Excel 97 to 2016 password effortlessly.