Protecting your Excel sheets is a handy feature that stops others from making unwanted changes to your document. There are two ways you can set up a protected excel sheet. You can either use password protection or simple protection only.
In the latter case, you can unprotect the sheets directly in Excel. For password protection, you will need to have the password to unprotect it in Excel. Or, if you’ve forgotten your password, you can use workarounds to access your document.
Unprotect Excel Sheets (As Owner)
If your protected Excel sheet isn’t password locked or if you have the password, you can unprotect it directly from the sheet itself.
- Right-click on Sheet name at the bottom.
- Select Unprotect sheet. (If the sheet isn’t password locked, it will automatically unprotect when selecting this option.)
- Enter your password and press OK.
Unprotect Using Google Sheets
If you don’t have the password for unprotecting Excel sheets, you can still access your document through Google Sheets as a workaround.
- Navigate to the folder containing your password-protected excel sheets.
- Open Google Drive in your browser.
- Drag and drop the password-protected sheet file to your drive.
- After the upload finishes, double-click on the file to open it.
- Press the Ctrl + Space + A button to select all and Ctrl + C to copy.
- Click on the file at the top right and choose New.
- Select Spreadsheet.
- Press Ctrl + V to paste.
- Select File and choose Download.
- Select Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).
- Open the downloaded file in Excel.
Sometimes, the owner of the password-protected sheets might have enabled the Select locked cells and Select unlocked cells options. In such cases, you can copy the contents of the protected excel sheet and paste it into a new sheet.
Using Macro (Excel 2010 and lower)
For Microsoft Excel 2010 or lower, you can unprotect the password-protected Excel sheets using macro.
- Open the password-protected sheet that you want to unprotect.
- Right-click the name of your protected sheet at the bottom.
- Select View Code.
- In the new window, right-click the name of your protected sheet in the left panel.
- Select Insert and click on Module.
- In the new window, enter the following code:
Sub PasswordBreaker() 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 "Finished.” Exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next End Sub
- Press F5 to run the code.
- After executing the code, you should receive a popup saying finished.
- Click OK.
Now, your Excel sheet should be unprotected.
Use Third-party Applications
If the above methods don’t work, you can use third-party applications to unprotect Excel sheets without a password. Some applications you can use to do so are Passper for Excel, Excel Password Recovery Master, and Straxx Excel Password Remover.