How to Add and Remove Password from Excel File

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Excel Password Breakers

Passwords are everywhere nowadays. Every website you sign up for requires a password, your Windows computer requires a password, and let’s not get started on Two Factor Authentication.

For some people, it’s irritating having to come up with and remember all of these passwords. Although it’s a necessary security measure, there’s no denying how tedious it can be.

Microsoft made this a part of their Microsoft Office package, and the more forgetful users have found themselves wondering how to remove passwords from Excel files.

With so many passwords, you’re going to forget them occasionally. Adding passwords to files isn’t seen as bothersome, though, and some users have wanted this ability for years.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact that you’ll have to remember your passwords, either by memorizing them or using a password manager.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on Microsoft Excel. You can use password protection to lock the document completely or restrict edits, and we’ll observe how to bypass both.

Setting Passwords for an Excel Worksheet

If you’re wondering why you should set a password for an Excel worksheet, you’re not alone. It is a relatively new feature of the program, but it is something many have been waiting for. It’s a simple matter of security and privacy.

Some documents contain information you don’t want others to see. Businesses don’t want their financial records to be public information, nor would they want employee details to be easily accessible. Spreadsheets effectively store this type of data, and a password ensures it remains private.

By the way, if you need to find out how to remove passwords from PPT and the best WinRAR password remover, here is the best way.

Here are some tips when you’re not trying to remove protection from Excel but rather add it.

Password Length

There aren’t any tight requirements for setting an Excel password. So, if you enter an insecure password, you won’t see a warning.

Typically, you should aim for your password to be at least six characters. Ideally, though, try to have it around 10 characters. The longer it is, the harder it’ll be to crack. Although, the longer the password is, the harder it’ll be for you to remember it.

PS: Here are more tutorials about how to unprotect Word documents.

Password Complexity

When we say complexity, we mean that your password shouldn’t only contain letters. You should include a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and a couple of special characters too. The more complex the password is, the harder it’ll be for someone to guess it or crack it.

Limit Password Sharing

Who you share the password with will differ depending on your situation. However, in most cases, you shouldn’t share it at all (or one other person at the very most).

Giving a password to more people means that it’s at a greater risk of falling into the wrong hands. Only give others access to the protected Excel spreadsheet if it’s 100% necessary.

How to Add a Password to Excel File

Starting with the very first process you’ll likely use, this process details how to add a password to your Excel file. Doing this will prevent anyone without the password from so much as opening the file, let alone reading it.

#1 – Locate and open the Excel file you would like to add a password to.

#2 – Once the spreadsheet opens, click on the “File” tab and then “Info.”

Add a Password to Excel File

#3 – Click on “Protect Workbook” and choose “Encrypt with Password” from the encryption options that appear.

#4 – A popup box will appear on your screen. Use this to enter a strong password that you can remember or save in a password manager app.

#5 – Type the password into the box for a second time to confirm that this is the password you want to use. Click “Enter” to finish adding the password to Excel.

#6 – After you have successfully encrypted the Excel file, close the window, and reopen the file to check if the password has been enabled.

Once you do this, you must enter the passcode every time you need to open the file. If the novelty wears off and you don’t want the password, we’ll show you how to remove the password from the Excel file later on.

How to Add a Password to Restrict Excel Editing

Maybe you don’t want to add a total lock to the Excel file. Perhaps you just want to stop people from making edits whilst reading the spreadsheet’s contents. If that’s the case, then you can add editing restrictions.

#1 – Start by opening the excel file that you want to restrict editing to.

#2 – After opening the file, click on “File > Info.”

#3 – Click “Protect Workbook,” and from the list, select “Protect Current Sheet.”

Protect Current Sheet

#4 – A popup window will appear. Check the “Protect Worksheet and Contents of Locked Cells” option.

Add a Password to Restrict Excel Editing

#5 – On this page, you’ll be able to adjust the restrictions. Scroll through the various options and check the boxes of the features you want users to have access to.

#6 – Next, enter a suitable password for the spreadsheet and press “OK” to proceed.

#7 – Type in the password again to verify it, and click on “OK” one last time.

This is particularly useful whenever you share a file. Tracking down whoever makes edits to a shared file isn’t always easy, but revoking access might not be appropriate.

Adding this basic edit-restricting password to your Excel file will ensure that only you (or any password holders) can make changes to the spreadsheet.

If you forget the password you’ve chosen, don’t worry; we’ll also show you how to remove protection from Excel.

How to Remove Protection from Excel with Password

Moving on to one of the more complex issues that users face. Knowing how to remove a password from Excel File is a rather simple task, but only if you already know what the password is.

Assuming this is the case, here’s how to remove the password if you know it.

#1 – Find and open the Excel file, which has password protection.

#2 – Submit the file’s password so that you can have full access to the spreadsheet.

#3 – Head over to “File > Info” and click on “Protect Workbook.”

#4 – Next, click on “Encrypt with Password,” and delete the password from the box when the popup window appears.

#5 – Press the “OK” button to confirm the password removal and save the file.

Following these steps allows you to remove the password from an Excel file with file protection. On the other hand, you might want to remove protection from Excel files to remove editing restrictions.

How to Remove Editing Restrictions from Excel with Password

You can remove your editing restrictions from an Excel document in a similar way. Follow the steps below to see how.

#1 – Open up the Excel file with editing restrictions.

#2 – From the toolbar at the top, click “File” and then “Info.”

remove password from excel file on Excel

#3 – Click “Protect Workbook” and select “Restrict Editing.” Enter the password that was created when you first enabled the restrictions.

#4 – On the list of restrictions, locate and select “Stop Protection.”

#5 – Lastly, click “OK” and save the document.

Making this change effectively removes the read-only restrictions of a Microsoft Excel file. You can only remove a password from an Excel file with this method if you have the original password. If not, you must take a different approach.

Removing Excel Passwords Without the Password

A more common situation you might find yourself in is accessing an Excel file when you don’t know the password.

Sure, it’s easy enough to remove protection from excel if you were the creator of the file. But what happens when you require information from a spreadsheet that someone else added protection to?

The answer is PassFab for Excel, a program that will assist you. After scanning the chosen Excel file, PassFab will discover the file’s password. You can then use the findings to unlock the spreadsheet after you open it.

  • Removes passwords from Excel files so that you can print documents
  • Removes editing restrictions so that you’re able to make changes to a spreadsheet
  • Uses four different password recovery methods to regain access quickly
  • Utilizes your computer’s CPU and GPU to ensure a speedy experience
  • Supports Windows Vista to Windows 10
  • Does not cause any data loss when removing an Excel password
  • There are alternate versions of PassFab for Word, PowerPoint, PDF, and other filetypes
  • Available as a free or paid program

Given that PassFab for Excel uses three password-cracking methods, it might sound like an intimidating solution. That’s not the case – it doesn’t matter how technical you are; this is an easy program to use.

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How to Remove Protection from Excel Without Password

In this next method, you will see PassFab for Excel in action. When you don’t have a file’s password and therefore cannot open it, follow these steps to remove the password from the Excel file.

#1 – Download and install the PassFab for Excel program on your computer.

#2 – Open the program and from the main menu, click on “Remove Excel Open Password.”

PassFab for Excel

#3 – Next, you must select which Excel file to unlock. Click “+” and use the popup window to locate and select the Excel file to remove a password.

Add Files to PassFab

#4 – After selecting the file, you’ll see a brief description of each password recovery method that you can use. Select whichever you prefer, and click “Recover“.

Remove Excel Open Password

#5 – PassFab will now begin rigorously cracking the Excel file’s password. How long this takes is dependent on the recovery method you choose.

start to recover the Excel password

#6 – After hopefully not too long, the scan will finish, and you will see the password. Open the Excel file and use this password to unlock it.

Find Excel Open Password

Usually, this approach won’t take too long as most people use simple passwords. If the Excel file uses a more intricate password then, of course, it’ll take a little longer.

How to Remove Editing Restrictions from Excel Without Password

PassFab for Excel is also useful for removing protection from Excel when the owner has editing restrictions enabled. Here’s a short guide on removing these restrictions with PassFab.

#1 – Install the PassFab for Excel software on your computer, then launch it.

#2 – When the program’s main menu loads, click on the “Remove Excel Restriction Password” feature.

PassFab for Excel

#3 – Click on the “+” button, navigate to the Excel file, and select it.

Add File to Passfab

#4 – After importing your file into PassFab for Excel, click “Remove.”

How to Remove Editing Restrictions from Excel Without Password Using PassFab

#5 – In a matter of seconds, the editing restrictions will be removed, and you’ll be able to make changes to the spreadsheet file.

Remove Excel Restriction Password

This is a significantly easier and quicker way of getting into a Microsoft Excel file than password protection. That said, whether you want to bypass the file’s password or its editing restrictions, PassFab for Excel is the most effective solution you’ll find.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. Can I add a password to specific cells in an Excel file?
    • No, Excel password protection applies to the entire workbook or sheet, not specific cells.
  2. Can I recover a forgotten password for an Excel file?
    • Unfortunately, if you forget the password for an Excel file, there is no built-in feature to recover it. Make sure to keep a backup of your password-protected files.
  3. Can I password protect multiple sheets within an Excel file?
    • Yes, you can apply password protection to multiple sheets within the same Excel file.
  4. Can I remove a password from an Excel file without knowing the original password?
    • No, you need to know the original password to remove it from an Excel file.
  5. Are password-protected Excel files completely secure?
    • While password protection adds an extra layer of security, it is important to understand that it may not be completely foolproof. It is recommended to combine password protection with other security measures for enhanced data protection.

To Conclude

Password-protecting your important Microsoft Excel files can be greatly beneficial. Other people won’t see valuable personal information, and financial spreadsheets will be for your eyes only.

If you cannot view your spreadsheets because you can’t remember what you set the password to, as stressed as this might make you, it’s not the end of the world.

The methods above to remove passwords from the Excel files will allow you to regain access and make any changes. Spreadsheets are fantastic, and so is password protection, but they can’t work around human error just yet!


Skilled software testing specialist with expertise in comparisons and research, passionate about blogging, reviews, and creating video tutorials.

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