How To Remove, Decrypt, Crack Forgotten Excel Password

Forgot excel password 2013? You may be stuck with a locked file and wondering whether it’s possible to decrypt the excel file. If so, continue reading this article because we will discuss the various methods that will guide to unencrypt excel file.

If you have forgotten or want to remove a protected file’s password, you need to know how to remove, decrypt, crack a forgotten excel password. Sit back and learn easy to follow ways which will help you crack excel password without software. In some scenarios, you can successfully recover an excel password, while in some, you may not be able to crack an excel password.

Recovering the password is a complicated yet essential task to learn if you have forgotten or lost the password and want to access your data.

There are three types and levels of password protection in excel:

1. Weak Protection (Slightly less protection and the password is recoverable instantly)

2. Difficult protection (Medium or intermediate level protection which takes around two minutes to remove password)

3. Challenging ( dependable option where the password cannot be cracked easily and requires powerful software and hardware for recovery)

Situations When The Excel Password Can Be Recovered Quickly (Weak Protection)

There are different situations in the password recovery process based on their complexity and time. In these situations, it is possible to crack an excel password without software. Below are the five cases in which the password is recoverable immediately, no matter how complex and which version you are using.

Password to modify

A “password to modify” is the type of password set by the document owner, allowing various users to access the document. Only authorized users (granted permission by the document owner) can modify and make changes to the document.

Sheet protection password

This type of password is applied and set by the file owner to protect a specific sheet in the excel document. With this password, the document owner restricts other unauthorized users from changing the sheet’s contents, objects, and scenarios. This is a weak type of password that can be removed and recovered promptly.

Workbook password

Workbook password is the kind of password imposed by the owner of the excel document to protect the Workbook’s data in its original form and not allow the people to make unnecessary changes. It is not a strong password and can be removed and recovered immediately with minimal effort.

Excel VBA password

VBA is the acronym of Visual basic for applications. You can include VBA passwords in the excel documents with macros in them. A password can also protect this module. It restricts users from looking over and modifying the code of the VBA project. It is a safer option when compared with others included in the list.

Password to open for Excel 2.0 to 95

The versions of Excel from 2.0 to 95 have the least level of prevention. In these versions of excel, passwords are retrievable quickly and easily. To retrieve the password document should contain data greater than equal to one page. Updated version such as Excel 2000 has better password protection than Excel 2.0 to 95.

Situations When The Excel Password Is Difficult To Recover (Medium Or Intermediate Level Protection)

In Excel versions 97 to 2003, all the data present in the file is encrypted, and the user cannot see the data unless he knows the password. Versions of Excel from 97–2003 have more secure and reliable protection making them more authentic than the previous versions.

If you have lost or forgotten the password, do not despair. We can help you decrypt the excel file.

By setting the password, the file remains unencrypted, whereas the encryption key does. It is generated as a result of complex password conversions. When the user enters the password, it is converted to the encryption key that decrypts the excel file. The right password provides you access to the document, whereas the wrong password results in faulty encryption keys, and the file remains inaccessible. This proves that the encryption key or password are the only two resources available for opening the document.

Some algorithms can transform passwords into encryption keys that vary from version to version and unique. Still, the key length is constant irrespective of the length of the password and its complexity. Excel versions from 97–2003 have a 40-bit length of the encryption key. You will need an excel password cracker to determine the encryption key. Once you have got the encryption key, the document and its data are accessible to you.

The advanced computer technology nowadays takes less than two days to find the best combination. Remember, this trick is only applicable for versions below 2003.

Scenarios Where The Excel Password Cannot Be Cracked

With the arrival of new versions of excel with better privacy and more reliability, it is challenging and almost impossible to recover and crack the password. The arrival of the excel version after 2007 and its successors has decryption tough. For instance, excel 2013 password recovery and excel 2016 password recovery is very tough to crack, as it is a highly protected and secure version. If you forgot excel password 2013, then it is impossible to crack the password.

The encryption key length is greater than 128/256, so it is impossible to find the right combinations. The only chance of finding the correct combination is to try each of them individually, but there are very few chances of success.

Graphic cards can help you here because they increase the pace of finding the passwords. Each card increases the speed 12 times. Therefore, it is advisable to increase the number of graphic cards to open the file quickly.

Similarly, when you transfer your file to another newer or older version with the file encrypted with a password, you won’t be able to crack the password.

Now we’ll be discussing some successful and easy methods for cracking excel passwords. Below are the five useful methods for recovering, cracking, and removing excel passwords in detail:

Method 1. Recover Forgotten Excel Password with 7-ZIP

You will learn to remove the restriction password from an on-hand Excel file such as Excel 2007 or 2019.

Step 1: Download and install 7-Zip; for archived Excel files, you can use 7-Zip to edit parts of it, otherwise use WinRAR, or some other ZIP-supported compression tools.

Step 2: Change the file name extension “.xlsx” to “.zip,” then click “Yes” if you observe a warning

Step 3: Right-click to open the Excel file using 7-Zip; you will observe several files and folders

Step 4: Navigate password protected worksheet to “xl>worksheets>sheet1.xml” (the encrypted worksheet is sheet1).

Step 5: Select “Edit,” which opens the file in notepad or any other installed editor.


Step 6: Remove the tag <sheetProtection … > instead of removing the password from the worksheet. Then save and close the sheet1.xml file.


Step 7: Upgrade the modified sheet1.xml file in the ZIP archive when prompted and close up the archive Zip.

Step 8: Rename the ZIP file name extension back to .xlsx. The Excel sheet is no longer protected at this point. Open it so you can make changes in the sheet without a password.

Method 2. Remove Forgotten Excel Password by VBA code

A forgotten password can be fixed on an Excel problem using a VBA code, and this technique works for Excel version 2010, 2007 or earlier,

Step 1: Open your protected Workbook Using Microsoft Excel, open the protected Workbook as a normal file. If a password prompt appears, then try Solution 3.

Step 2: Press together “ALT+F11” to open the “Microsoft Visual Basic for Application” window interface


Step 3: Click on “Insert”> “Module” and then paste the code given below in the “Module” window. This code will help to unlock the Excel file as shown in the screenshot below;

Step 4: Paste and click “F5” to implement this code, and a prompt will appear > click “OK” to close it, and that’s it.


Method 3. Crack Forgotten Excel Password Online(Not Recommended)

Here we recommend you try the top two Excel password recovery tools to unlock excel password online for free.


This application is a reasonably useful online tool to use as an MS Excel password cracker.

  • Pros: Free weak password recovery in a short time.
  • Cons: Costly for strong password recovery. file size can’t exceed 100MB


Uses technology for recovering Microsoft Office Excel 40-bit keys

  • Pros: Ability to unlock password-protected Excel immediately regardless of the password length and complexity.
  • Cons: It only works for Excel 97, 2000, and 2003. It is also expensive.

Data security is the most critical factor; you run the risk of data loss and data theft. An online excel password recovery system is not the best way due to these weaknesses.

Method 4. Decrypt Forgotten Excel Password with PassFab for Excel

Passfab for excel is one of the most reliable software programs with the highest password recovery rate. It has a 100 % success ratio and is ideal for situations where you have forgotten the password.

Follow the three simple steps to unlock a password using PassFab:

Step 1: On the homepage, select the ‘Recover Password’ option.

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Step 2: Add the desired password-protected file and then choose the recovery method.

Step 3: Start the password recovering process by clicking on ‘next.’

Method 5. Recover Forgotten Excel Password with a free Excel Add-in

By downloading a free Excel add-in, you can crack or remove an excel sheet/workbook password. Straxx is one of the reliable excel add-in software that you need to download for your password recovery. Straxx provides three options, which are;

  • Unprotect Sheet (Removes protection from the sheet)
  • Unprotect Workbook (Removes protection from Workbook)
  • Unprotect all (PRO version only) (Shows the password)

It operates seamlessly only on 2013 and 2016 versions of excels because of its powerful algorithm encryption. If you use the older version, they’ll appear stuck in one place. In this situation, you’ll need to press the Esc button multiple times.

Directions for the 2013/2016 versions

Below are the directions for the 2013/2016 versions:

After you allow the macros to run and straxx software is activated, a new option of “Straxx” is generated by the Excel on the menu bar or toolbar, as shown in the screenshot below:

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By clicking on the option of “Straxx,” the two options appear as shown in the picture. In one alternative, you can erase protection from the specific file from your device or remove security from the active Workbook. The actual Workbook remains the same with a minimal addition in the name as “_unprotected” is saved and opens up as the program ends.

The Bottom Line

With the advancement of technology, password recovery in excel is no longer a challenging task. You may face various scenarios where you’ll need cracking methods and recovering excel password in your daily life. Excel is now widely used at the corporate level; therefore, it is necessary to learn the tricks if you have forgotten or lost the password.

With new Excel versions, the recovering and cracking process has become complicated because of excellent and efficient security protection. This is where you will need an MS Excel password cracker. In this article, we have covered every possible scenario and possible solutions.

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