Excel workbooks often serve as valuable repositories for data. To safeguard this information, users commonly protect their workbooks with passwords. Although this practice effectively limits unauthorized access to individuals, it can also restrict access to authorized users in the event of forgotten passwords. So the question arises, how to unprotect an Excel workbook without a password from version 2013 onwards? We will help you with this in today’s article.
How to Unprotect Excel Workbook Without Password
A password is set before sharing a workbook with someone to ensure confidential data does not fall into the wrong hands. This also guarantees that no information is added or removed without your knowledge. Losing a password can pose challenges in accessing the workbook. However, there are multiple ways to password-protect a file, as well as unprotect it. Let’s look at them below.
Method 1: Using VBA Code
The first method to unprotect the Excel workbook without a password is using a VBA code. In simple words, it is an editable programming code automatically generated when a user records a macro.
1. Open a password-protected Excel sheet on your device.
2. Press the Alt + F1 keys simultaneously to open Visual Basic Editor.
3. Right-click on the workbook name on the left pane of your screen.
4. Select Insert followed by Module.
5. Paste the following code in the window that appears:
Sub PasswordBreaker() 'Breaks worksheet password protection. 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 "Password is " & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _ Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _ Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n) Exit Sub End If Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next End Sub
6. Now press F5.
Macro will now throw a cracked password which although is not the original, however, it still works.
Also Read: How to Make Excel File Read Only
Method 2: Copy Content to Unprotected Worksheet
Another method to unlock a password-protected Excel sheet is using the copy-paste option. Although this method will not help you with breaking the password, you can still view the content.
1. Open Excel on your Windows laptop.
2. Open the password-protected sheet and press the Shift + Ctrl + End keys to select the used cells in the worksheet.
3. Next, press the Ctrl + C keys to copy the content of the selected cells.
4. Press the Ctrl + N keys to open a new sheet within the same workbook.
5. Finally, press the Ctrl + V keys to paste the content of the password-protected sheet.
Also Read: How to Subtract Multiple Cells in Excel
How to Unprotect Excel Sheets without Password 2013 and 2016
We tried the abovementioned methods on Microsoft Excel LTSC Professional Plus 2021 and they did not provide the desired results. For the newer versions, you can use the Excel password recovery tool to save time and unprotect sheets without a password. Below we have mentioned the steps to use the iSeePassword Excel Password Recovery tool.
1. Go to the official iSeePassword Excel Password Recovery tool to purchase and download the tool on your device.
2. Run the executable file to complete the installation process.
3. Click on Add File to import a password-protected sheet.
4. Next, choose an attack under Select an attack type.
Note: You can customize attack settings to speed up the process.
5. Once you are done, click on Start to begin.
We hope this method helps you understand how to unprotect an Excel workbook without a password. Please share your valuable reviews and feedback in the comments. Also, let us know what you would like to read!