When you go to use a password protected resource and you forget your password, it can be very frustrating. Even online membership sites can be frustrating enough. But if it’s a project in a password-protected Excel document, and then you’ve forgotten your password, this can be an unwanted obstacle to your progress.
Fortunately, there are several ways to remove password from Excel. If you want your document to be password protected, you can re-save and protect it after you have cracked it. But in this article, we will focus on hacking.
Removing a password from Excel is just about that – making the file so that it no longer contains the password. Cracking a password is again, it seems, cracking a password so that you can access the file. This could be the case when a password is cracked on the way to being deleted or cracked on the way to being cracked.
Yes, hacked sounds like broken, but consider hacking . If a forgotten password is cracked , you figure out what the password is in order to gain access to the file.
Many programs and many other available options will only lead to a dead end or some kind of limitation. For example, they will work with Excel 2007, but not Excel 2016 or Mac. Or they will work for protection within the worksheet, but not if you cannot open the file (open password).
Interestingly, software options that will work for these items (e.g. Excel 2016, open password, Mac, etc.) will also work for older Excel programs.
So why buy two programs or buy one program for new files and clutter up your computer with free program for old files when you don’t need it? It makes sense to purchase a suitable program that will solve your problem. And while â€œfreeâ€ is great, $ 9-30 isn’t exactly a terrible price to pay when you consider that a lot of valuable (and necessary) software costs $ 300-500.
Too simple, here are some * free * options that can remove password from Excel, saving you the trouble of paying or even installing anything. We’ll look at some of the paid software solutions later.
Below are some of the methods you can try to keep your wallet private. No guarantees, but this is the place to start. Remember two things:
- If you are short on time or need a simpler route, you can go straight to the paid solutions (software).
- Excel encryption until 2013 was pretty simplistic. This means it’s easier to hack a worksheet that was protected before 2013. Again, if you want to avoid the hassle, for a newer version of the worksheet (newer version of Excel), you might want to skip the free versions and go straight to the paid ones.
Regardless, be sure to back up the file. It may be advisable to use more than one backup. Crack the copy of the file to make sure the original file is not damaged. Most of these software and free methods do not damage the file, but it is best to be careful.
Two VBA Script Methods
The idea behind using VBA script is to bypass Microsoft Excel password check mechanism and crack Excel password. But you do it by tricking the program before starting the process with the main scripting language Visual Basic.
This may seem like a more interesting option, but it is perhaps the least used method, so you might want to try it first.
Here is a VBA script. Once you open your Excel spreadsheet, enter the editor using Alt F11 (works on Mac as well), select a file from the list and paste this script into the announcement window.
Sub BreakPassword () 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 Continue Next for i From = 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 = 65â€“66 For i5 = 65â€“66: For i6 = 65â€“66: For n = 32â€“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 exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next End Sub pre >
After pressing the start button (F5) for a VBA script, wait for a while, and when the button becomes available again, you will know that the script has finished.
There are several possibilities. For example, in the Mac version, you can just start editing the file. Other versions, such as Windows, will provide you with a temporary password that you can use to unlock the document and start editing. At this point, you have the option to add a new password if you like and re-save the document with that password.
There is another great VBA script method that takes an Excel file and recreates a copy of it without the password (s). You can copy / paste the VBA script from this page
John the Ripper Option
Another option for removing password from Excel is a more basic approach using terminal. This is the John the Ripper version. It is also an effective method for general password cracking that has been used effectively for decades. Some of the other methods, such as programmatic methods, are probably simpler and more efficient, especially for newer versions of Excel.
Also, if you have an older version of Excel (before 2013) installed and don’t mind typing, the VBA script method is effective. Regarding the John the Ripper method, visit this site and scroll down to see how-to method / instructions.
XML / Zip Method (Pre-Excel 2013)
Once you’ve backed up the file, you can use the XML / Zip method to crack it.
- All you have to do is change the file extension from xls to zip so that Windows thinks the file is now zip instead of file Excel. This will allow you to access the existing XML (assuming the method works or may not).
- Extract the now-zip file and find the XML file. It will be in the worksheets directory.
- Search the file for the term sheetProtection and when you find it, remove the tag that includes it. The tag usually starts with < and ends with > . You want to remove the entire tag, from start to finish.
- Save the file (still in the archive). After saving the file, rename the zip extension to the original extension. You should be ready to go and be able to open and work with the file.
This method didn’t work and research shows that it only works for old files.
Other (collection of information)
There is another password option that is recommended to be used called Excel Password Recovery Lastic This is an interesting option, but in testing it did not impress, and did not make any progress.
However, there is some useful information that can be obtained using the program, even if it does not complete the process of cracking (or removing) the password.
- After downloading the software, double-click it and go through the installation process on your Windows computer.
- Opening the program will take you to a window that looks like the one shown above after it has scanned your computer.
The program is useful for finding Excel files that may need help, that is, those that are password protected.
You will notice that the first file in the list above is a pre-2013 file with an xls extension, and the password to open is
The password for the first file in the list is password. This was done to make testing easier. However, even with a simple password and more importantly weak encryption (due to the Excel software version), Excel Password Recovery Lastic still recommended trying another option. He recommended visiting Password-Find, which you can find more information about below.
The rest of the files (xlsx) also got the same recommendation as expected. If the program cannot process the simplest file, then it is not expected to process the Excel 2016 file.
This is where this software comes in handy. If you have an Excel spreadsheet and you know that it is password protected, but do not know to what extent, you can let Excel Password Recovery Lastic find the file (when it does an automatic scan when you open the program) and then inform you that file protection type (see image above).
You will notice that in the image above, it shows the
Every little information helps. Using this software tool, you can at least figure out if the Excel file is an open password, or change the password, or both, or some other combination.
The image above shows a different file type. Knowing what type of protection a file has (as well as version), it is possible to determine what type of password cracking is needed and this can save us time, energy and possibly money.
This software may not have done it (hacked the file), but it helped to understand the file and figure out what to do next.
Paid Software Methods
Regardless of which method you choose to remove password from Excel, it is helpful to make a backup copy of the Excel file in case any damage occurs in the process. Typically, you can just copy the unopened file. There are other backup methods, and you can make a couple of backups just in case.
Dr. Excel ($ 29.95)
iSeePassword offers Excel password cracking software package. They also offer options for common Windows passwords, so they are a one-stop shop to some extent.
Plus, they are kind enough to offer a trial so you can see if the program works for you before spending your money. There are enough options for you to be sure that the software you choose to use has a trial version, allowing you to evaluate before spending your money.
- When the installation is complete, be sure to select the Run ExcelPasswordRecovery.exe check box before clicking Finish. ExcelPasswordRecovery.exe is also the name of Dr. Excel software.
- The first step is to add the file in question. You can do this by clicking “Add File” in the upper right corner.
- Step 2 allows you to select the type of attack. The descriptions speak for themselves. The type of attack depends on what type of password you used.
So, for example, if you remember that you were using a really simple password, but don’t remember what that password was, you can use a dictionary attack to use more common words. You may also prefer brute force with a mask attack, which can take less time.
Keep in mind that you will need to click on “Settings” in order to select features related to the type of attack.
- If you don’t click Settings, Dr. Excel will remind you well enough, and after clicking OK you can go back and click Settings.
- You are now ready to launch the attack. Keep in mind that no matter how thorough this software is, it can take a while. The password for the scanned file was a password, and it took several hours to crack it. So, simplicity is not an indicator of how long it will take.
PassFab ($ 19.95 per year)
Another popular software is PassFab
If you turn away or don’t pay attention, your default browser may open with confirmation that the software has been successfully installed. This is passfab.com, the same site as the software developer, and you will be taken directly to the Quick Start for help.
When you’re done with the site, go back to the installation process and click Finish to open the program.
- On the next screen, you have the option to click Add and select the password-protected file that you want to crack (or remove the password).
On the same screen, after selecting a file, you have the option to choose which type of attack you want to use: dictionary attack, brute force attack with mask attack, and brute force attack.
Are you wondering what is GPU acceleration? It is a graphics processing unit that helps you manipulate the visual aspects of your computer in the most efficient way. It is a faster processor than your computer’s and can speed up an attack significantly.
The settings on this screen allow you to load a customized dictionary. So if you know what a password is, you can list these possibilities in your custom dictionary.
Let’s say you have a specific password that you use regularly, and when you are forced to change it, you add a number or special character to it. Although the password is slightly different from what you usually use, it is actually much the same. This is your opportunity to include this password (and its variants) in your custom dictionary file to speed up the Excel password cracking process.
The PassFab software used for testing was a trial version to check if it works. As you can see above, the program managed to crack the password. Or at least we assume so based on the number of characters matched and the first two characters.
The password for this file was the password as shown in the red box above.
PassFab wants to show you that the program works before you have to spend money. There are a number of license options available to help you choose the most appropriate one. Remember that while a lifetime license is a good price, if the company goes out of business, the software will no longer receive updates.
This is not a forecast for PassFab, but rather a commentary on the nature of software licensing in general.
Excel Password Remover Pro (Varies)
The final software package (or software packages) comes in quite a few different types and services, so be sure to read the description before spending money. The image above shows a list of software available at the time of writing.
Paid Online Methods
There are several options available online. There are also options to send your file so others will hack it for you and give you a quote. We’ve included semi-offline service options available online.
Password-Finddk (19.95 / 39.95)
Finding a password is an option suggested by the aforementioned Lastic program, a program that helps provide information about the files in question so that we can take a smart approach to them.
The instruction graphics are very clear. For example, the first step is to download the file to be hacked or remove the password.
In the second step, it’s time to choose an approach. In this case, instead of thinking about the type or method, you are looking at the result. This is still a method / approach, but decide what kind of result you want. Want to remove password in Excel or figure out what password?
It makes sense to recommend removing the password, as you can always save the file (or re-save the file) with a different password, and this approach (removing the password) is faster. This method was chosen during testing.
The developers recommend another option (defining / searching for a password) in cases where you can have several files and the same password for everyone. And it makes sense, because if you are using the deletion process and you have 50 files, you will have to repeat this process 50 times.
But if you use the cracking method for one file, and it takes three times to delete the file password (just a number like sake), you will save the time it would have taken for the other 47 files because you figured out that password for 50 files.
The efficiency and speed of this particular online solution has been very impressive. There is still a waiting phase while the program is doing its job, but for testing our Excel 2016 file it was seconds, not hours.
It’s worth noting that this software did not provide us with the file, but rather gave us the ability to view an unprotected (password has been removed) file. While other software provided us with partial views of the file, in this case, we were able to see the entire file in a preview, which proves it worked.
Option – Browse the Internet. And don’t forget to click Delete to delete the file so you don’t leave your personal or service sheets anywhere on the Internet.
As seen above, there are two purchase options offering different solutions depending on your needs.
Password-Online.com (10 euros)
At this point, you can download the encrypted file as indicated on the button. Follow you and you are on your way.
You will need to enter your email address for them to notify you when your file is ready. The speed at which you receive a file depends on how many files are ahead of yours, the level of difficulty, and any other factors that may affect those who provide the service.
Although this service only costs â‚¬ 10, it does not provide an estimate of how long it may take to complete your file. You might be more comfortable paying a little more with some of the other options if you want more control over the process.