Password protecting your Excel workbook makes it safe from phishing or data leakage risk. But sometimes you need to allow someone to temporarily access the file sharing the Excel password, which makes it important to reset Excel password. Resetting the password will prevent your workbook if accidentally your old password was divulged and you don’t trust the intentions of the other person. It will also help you when you have a locked Excel sheet whose password is unknown to you.

In this article, we are going to explain how to reset Excel password with and without knowing the password. Either you know the password or have lost or forgotten it, there is no reason to get worried about that. We have solutions for both situations. Keep reading to explore more.

Option 1. Reset Excel Password when You Remember It

It becomes important to key in the password of a password protected Excel workbook/sheet to access it. You can reset the password of an Excel workbook/sheet when you know the password, by first removing the existing password and then configuring a new one.

Here is how to reset the password for your Excel workbook for Excel 2010/2013/2016.

1. Browse for the locked/password protected Excel document on your computer and open it. Click on ‘File’, ‘Info’ and then tap on the ‘Protect Workbook’ tab from the drop-down list.

2. After that tap ‘Encrypt with Password’ and delete the password.

reset excel password

3. Hit ‘OK’ to confirm and then save it. Saving the file will remove the old password and save the changes.

4. Now, hit ‘Protect Workbook’ again and then tap ‘Encrypt with Password’ to reset a new password.

Option 2. Reset Excel Password When You forgot It

Solution 1. Use ZIP software

There are times you tried hard but forgot the password of your important Excel file. In this situation, you have no other option to get through the file directly. So, we will help you choose an Excel password reset tool to reset the existing password and get the file back on track. This method is applicable for Excel 2007/2010/2013.

1. As the process requires a .xlsx format, save your .xls file with .xlsx format. Now, the Excel workbook needs to be again saved with .zip extension. Click ‘Yes’ when you are being prompted. It is advisable to take a backup of your workbook data.

change excel extension

2. Now, right click on the .zip extension file and extract data. Search for the target sheet having a .xml extension. You can find it under the ‘xl->worksheets’ directory.

extract sheet xml

3. Search ‘sheetProtection Password’ within the targeted .xml file. Delete the ‘sheetProtection Password’ tag, then save and close the file.

delete sheetprotection

4. Now, you will be prompted to replace the old .xml file with the one you have just edited in your ZIP archive (ZIP files).

5. After closing the ZIP file, rename it back to .xlsx from .zip. It will remove the existing password form the Excel and unlock it.

6. You can again set a new password for the Excel file and save the changes.

Note: Only password protected workbooks those are not encrypted with password can get help from this exercise. You need to disable the default Windows settings that hide file extensions.

Solution 2. Use Free Online Excel password Cracker

You can go for free online Excel password cracker to recover and then reset your Excel workbook. Password-find can help you in this regard.

1. Browse and tap the ‘Browse’ button and upload the file.

online excel password crack step 1

2. Tap on ‘Next Step’ and then click ‘Yes’.

3. Lastly, hit on Remove Password and then your Excel will be unlocked, whose password you can reset and protect it.

online excel password crack step 2

Solution 3. Use PassFab for Excel

You can always turn to PassFab for Excel to reset Excel password protection by unlocking it, even if without knowing the password. This software supports most Excel versions and is capable of resetting password for both workbook and spreadsheets in Excel. You have lost, forgotten the password or it simply isn’t responding during unlocking, PassFab can easily fix the issue and recover the password. Excel files of any length or complexity can effortlessly get unlocked with this software.

Here is the step-by-step guide to reset password of the Excel file.

Step 1: Install and launch PassFab for Excel on your PC. Click on the ‘Add’ button on the PassFab interface. Find the locked and password forgotten Excel spreadsheet to import it.

import excel file in passfab for excel

Step 2: Now, choose the suitable password attack type from ‘Select a Password Attack Type’ and enter the details under the ‘Settings’ tabs.

  • Dictionary Attack – a password dictionary exists for picking and disabling the correct Excel password.
  • Brute-force attack (default password recovery option) – check characters one by one to find the password.
  • Brute-force with Mask attack – when a part of the password is known, for verifying the customize symbols, numbers, and characters to get it.
choose password attack type in passfab for excel

Step 3: Click the ‘Start’ button subsequently to recover the lost password. You can reset the password for the Excel file and relock it.

choose password attack type in passfab for excel


Resetting the password for your Excel file is not a herculean task, unless you have this amazing Excel password reset tool – PassFab for Excel to lend you a hand. From locked and password forgotten workbooks to the ones whose password you remember vaguely, it can set everything right. All that you need to do is install it and see the magic unfold.