How to Unprotect Workbook in Excel 2010? Here Are Multiple Ways

Excel is one of the most popular and used applications in the corporate world. Since it allows both words and numbers to be installed, it usually contains a lot of sensitive data. Those who are work on Excel sheets on a daily basis require that there are certain protections which prevents the data from being changed. In Excel, even a single key can change the accuracy of the whole data sheet which is why data needs to be locked to prevent changes. Similarly, when people lock their sheets, they also need to know exactly how to unprotect Excel 2010. If there is a need to make some changes or to add and/or subtract some information, they must know how to unprotect workbook in Excel 2010. This will be a detail guide on unprotecting Excel sheets in order to continue working on them.

Following are some of the ways to unprotect Excel 2010 either with or without password, any way you prefer.

Alternative 1. Unprotect Excel 2010 with Known Password

If you want to unprotect your Excel sheet and you know the password to it as well, then the process will hardly take a few seconds. To unprotect Excel 2010, follow the step below.

Step 1: Open your Excel file with password.

Step 2: Click on file, move the cursor to Info, then Protect workbook and the last move will be to Encrypt with password.

 click on info

Step 3: Now, when you click encrypt with password, a dialogue box will appear with the name "encrypt document", in this dialogues box clear all the black dots for password and then click ok.

encrypt document

Step 4: By doing this, the process to unprotect Excel 2010 is completed and you won't be asked for a password the next time you open this file.

Alternative 2. Unprotect Excel 2010 without Password

There can be times when you forget the password to your Excel sheet or lose it somewhere, then even in those cases you can easily unprotect Excel file 2010 with the following two options.

Method 1. Use VBA code

Step 1: Open your Excel file.

Step 2: Press "Alt + F11" to get to the visual basic for applications.

Step 3: Click on insert and then select module.

click on insert

Step 4: After that, Enter the VBA code in the box that appears.

enter vba code

Step 5: Press F5 to run the code.

This step will complete your password and even though the last step may take a while to complete but after this, your Excel sheet will be ready to use.

Method 2. Use 7zip

Step 1: Change the format of your Excel file to .xlsx format. For this, go to Organize > folder > search > view tab.

change to xlsx format

Step 2: The dialogue box which appears, uncheck the option that says "Hide extensions for known file types" and press OK.

uncheck box

Step 3: Use 7zip software to extract the file into a new folder which will have three folders, click on the xl folder.

click xl folder

Step 4: After this, you will click on the worksheets folder .

worksheets folder

Step 5: Open the xml sheet which you want to unprotect.

open xml

Step 6: Open the xml sheet in word pad and press Ctrl+F.

Step 7: In the dialogue box, type Protection and press Find next.

opress find next

Step 8: Now remove the tags which have "Sheet protection" written and then save the file.

remove tags

Step 9: Go back to the path shown in step 3 to zip those three folders and xml file.

zip folders

After this, you will change the format of your Excel sheet from zip to xlsx. The sheet will then be unprotected and ready to use.

Method 3. Use PassFab for Excel

PassFab for Excel is an Excellent recovery tool to help you unprotect Excel file 2010 without wasting any of your precious time. The steps of recovery are really easy and simple, mentioned below.

Step 1: You have to open the toolkit and click file password recovery option. After this you will click Add button to import your file.

add file

Step 2: When the file gets added and the details appear, you now have to select a password crack type. There are options to choose for your password recovery:

  • Brute force Attack: In this you try all combinations, though it takes a lot of time.
  • Brute force with Mask Attack: In this you enter whatever password you remember and all possible combinations of that entered option are checked.
  • Dictionary Attack: you can find the password from inbuilt dictionary.
choose password crack type

Step 3: Once you decide the crack type, press start to crack your password.

click start

Step 4: After the process ends, a dialogue box will appear with the written password.

password is  found

You can now use this password to open your file and unlock it.


As mentioned in the article, there are a lot of way to unprotect Excel file 2010. It doesn't matter if you don't have your password or have forgotten it, because there is a way to unlock in that case as well. If you want to have an unprotected Excel workbook 2010 then you should definitely use the PassFab for Excel. The PassFab for Excel program is best to unprotect workbooks and unprotect cells in Excel 2010. When you use this program, you will not have to use any other way and this alone will be enough to help you get started on your Excel sheet. There are just a few steps involved which you need to follow in order and your Excel sheet will be ready for you to edit.

Updated on / Posted by Shirley Howard to Excel Tips / Follow @Shirley Howard


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