How to Remove Password from Excel File: A Detailed Guide

In the modern versions of Excel, or any other Microsoft Office software, file protection has been greatly emphasized. So, coming across password protected files are pretty darn common. In many cases, you might want to remove the password from your Excel file. Hey, we’ve all been there.

Wondering how to do that? Have no worries, that’s exactly where we come in. In this writeup, we’ll be covering all the possible ways to remove passwords from Excel files in every possible scenario.

We’ll be going through each procedure step by step. So, you’ll be able to execute them in no problems whatsoever. No point in wasting any more time with the introductions, let’s get to the main discussion.

Easy Ways to Remove Password from Excel Files

So, here’s the first thing that we’re going to do. We’re going to divide the procedures according to the particular situation you’re in. There can be multiple variations of scenarios that might make you want to remove the password from an Excel file. So, here we go.

When the Password is Known

These methods are suited if you’re the one that set the password in the first place, or the password of the Excel file has already been given to you. Here’s how to remove it.

Removing Spreadsheet Password Using the Info Panel

  • Open the Excel file that’s encrypted.
  • A password window should pop up.
  • Enter the exact password and click ok.

Removing Spreadsheet Password Using the Info Panel 1

  • On the upper left corner of the Ribbon, select the File tab.
  • Then select Info on the panel at the left-hand side.
  • Once you’ve done that, click on Protect Workbook to see the dropdown window.
  • Select the Encrypt with password option.

Removing Spreadsheet Password Using the Info Panel 2

  • Delete the existing password and press Ok.

Removing Spreadsheet Password Using the Info Panel 3

  • Then, go to the File menu again and save the Excel file.

Removing Excel Password Using the Review Tab

  • Open the Excel file using the password just like the procedure above.
  • On the Excel Ribbon, select the Review tab.
  • Click on Unprotect Sheet.
  • On the popup window enter the password and press OK.

Removing Excel Password Using the Review Tab 1

  • Go to the File menu, and save the file.

Removing Excel Password Using the Format Menu

  • This can be pretty much considered to be the alternative method to the previous one.
  • Just go to the Home tab and select the Format menu.
  • When the dropdown appears, select Unprotect Sheet.

Removing Excel Password Using the Format Menu

  • After entering the password, save the file.

Using Save as to Remove Password in Excel

  • Do the basics once again, open the file, enter the password, and press OK.
  • Now, on the file tab, select Save as.
  • Once you select a particular folder, a popup window should appear.
  • Click on Tools which is located at the bottom of the window.
  • Over there, if you select General options, another popup will appear.

Using Save as to Remove Password in Excel

  • Here, you’ll have to remove the passwords on both the fields and press OK.
  • Now, again, go to File and save the document.

For Mac Users

Just in case you’re a Mac user, just follow the steps below:

  • Open the Excel file, enter the password, and click OK.
  • On the upper left corner, you’ll find the File tab.
  • Then, select Passwords from the dropdown list.
  • Now, the File Passwords dialogue box should appear.
  • Delete the passwords from both text fields and click OK.
  • In the Menu bar, go to the file tab and click Save.

When the Password is Unknown

The process below is for you if you want to open an Excel file and the password is unknown to you. Here’s a small tip, create a backup copy for the Excel files before you apply these steps. This one involves converting an Excel file into a Zip file. Getting curious? Let me guide you through.

  • Right-click on the document that you want to work on and then convert the Excel file by renaming the extension from “.xlsx” to “.zip@.
  • When you get the prompt of whether you want to change it or not, click on Yes.
  • Extract the zip file using an extracting software. All you have to do is, right click and select Extract All.
  • Within the extracted file, you’ll find the XL folder.
  • Within that, you’ll see the worksheets folder.
  • Within that folder you’ll come across the XML files.
  • These are basically the excel worksheets within your password protected work file.
  • The worksheet should be listed as sheet1.xml, sheet2.xml, sheet3.xml and so on.
  • In order to make modifications to the XML file, open one XML file with notepad and search for a line that has the word “protection”.
  • Select everything there is between < and > and delete it.
  • Click on File, and save it.
  • Repeat this process in all the files within the Worksheets folder.
  • Go back to the extracted file to select all the files.
  • Now, right click and select Send to> Compressed/ Zipped folder.
  • Rename the “.zip” file to “.xlsx”.
  • When the warning prompt appears, select Yes.
  • Finally, open the Excel file and you should find all the sheets unlocked.

Note: This method might not work on the newer versions of Excel. It doesn’t work on Microsoft 365 anymore and users have reported that it isn’t perfect for Excel 2016 either.

Online Password Removal Procedures

If you want to remove the passwords from your Excel file even though the password is unknown to you, you might want to take a look at the online password finding services below:

Third Party Password Removal Software

If all the procedures above have failed you, you might want to take the help of some third-party software. Here’s a list of some reliable ones below:

  • Excel
  • PassFab for Excel
  • iSunshare Excel Password Remover
  • Passper for Excel

Parting Tips

Take these small bits of tips and advices to heart. They might actually save you from a lot of frustration.

1. Keep a notepad on your PC or phone to store all the passwords.

2. Keep backup files for all the Excel files you want to crack the password of.

3. In the the Save As feature method it’ll save a different copy of the Excel file without any protection. The original file will however be password protected.


Well, that’s pretty much it. We’ve discussed all there is to know about removing passwords from Excel files. These should prove to be useful to you in your home or workspace. Some procedures may not work due to the version at hand. However, there’s always an alternative.

Let’s wrap this one up for now. See you on the next one.

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