Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Unlocking password protected Excel files

Ever got into any of the following situations
  • You have password protected an Excel file and have subsequently forgotten the password
  • Got an excel file that is password protected and you want to access the contents of the file
Today I was in the first situation and after a bit of googling I came across the following application Excel Password Remover 2008 which is an add-in to excel.

It's very simple to use this tool
  • Download the add-in password.xla and save it at any location on your hard disk.
  • Load the add-in into excel by going to the following menu option Tools -> Add-Ins. Click on Browse in the window that pop-ups and find the password.xla file that is saved on your hard disk. It will then appear in the add-ins Available list. Make sure the checkbox next to the name of the add-in is checked before you click on ok. Once you click on OK you should get two new menu items in the tools menu Unprotect sheet and Unprotect workbook.
  • Open the file that you want to unprotect (note that you cannot use this tool to open excel files that are password protected to even open them. There are other suggested tools on the website but I have not tried them out). Click on Tools -> Unprotect Sheet and after a few seconds you will get a message that the sheet is unprotected.
  • Once you have unprotected all the sheets save the file to your hard disk and all the password protection would have been removed.
There is a negative side and positive side to such a tool
  • Password protecting excel worksheets is really not helpful as you can easily break the password.
  • You don't have to worry if you forget the password as there are tools such as this that can break it. The worry was there as Microsoft never gave a method of recovering the password if it was forgotten. I think password protection is a half baked solution they implemented in Excel.

3 comments:

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Max well said...

It is very easy through Excel password unlocker software to unlock password protected Excel files. Excel password recovery software smartly recover Excel password.