Copying an excel file after forgetting the password

Copper Contributor

I just copied a file from another client who was a client of the former company I sold.  I want to use it in the new company I now have but it is password protected. And of course, I do not have nor can I find the password.  Is there a way to copy the formatting without the formulas and delete the entries in the cells?

1 Reply


If you want to copy the formatting of an Excel file without the formulas and delete the cell entries, you can use the "Paste Special" feature in Excel.

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Open the password-protected Excel file.
  2. Select the range of cells that you want to copy the formatting from.
  3. Press Ctrl+C or right-click and choose "Copy" to copy the selected range.
  4. Open a new Excel file where you want to paste the formatting.
  5. Right-click on any cell in the new file and choose "Paste Special" from the context menu.
  6. In the "Paste Special" dialog box, select the "Formats" option.
  7. Click on the "OK" button to paste the formatting without the formulas and values.

This will copy the formatting, such as cell colors, borders, font styles, etc., from the original file to the new file, without bringing over any formulas or cell entries.

Note that this method will only copy the formatting and not any data or formulas. If you also want to copy the data or certain aspects of the data, you may need to use different techniques, such as manually copying and pasting values or using VBA macros to automate the process.

Additionally, it's important to respect any legal restrictions or permissions related to using and accessing password-protected files. Make sure you have the necessary rights or permissions to use the file in your new company.


Links in this direction:

1 Link:Password Options

2 Link:How to unprotect the excel sheet if forgot the password


Additional Information:

Lock or unlock specific areas of a protected worksheet

Hide or show rows or columns

Protect an Excel file