Password options

Respected Contributor


Password protect or unlock

Excel file / sheet / range / column / row, cell

Actually, the inventors idea was to have a password in Excel for area or cell barriers to ensure that other users accidentally make no changes. With Excel, password protection of the entire workbook is the most reliable way of preventing content from being changed.

However, that does not mean the password specialists also remove this password protection,

Nevertheless, before you deal with password protection, you have to know in which levels and what type of password protection can be used.

Here is an attempt to set them up hierarchically, as well as those most used by users and not as Microsoft, protection and security in Excel, does set them up.

Workbooks protection,

Worksheet protection,

Area/range protection,

Column protection,

Row protection

Cell protection,

VBA project protection

VBA password code protection

Ultimately, it all depends on what you want to achieve with it.


Decrypt password.

It often happens that because of so many passwords that you are obliged to use in different programs, as well as on the PC, that you forget a password at the end. Excel passwords in particular are not given, very high priority by their own users, which is why very simple passwords are usually used.

Here is a list of the most widely used passwords for 2020.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. picture1
  4. password
  5. 12345678
  6. 111111
  7. 123123
  8. 12345
  9. 1234567890
  10. senha

The number ten "senha" is the Brazilian / Portuguese word for "password".

You can search in Internet about this list, you found it in many Internet Sites.


Nothing is safe, everything that a person can secure can also be unlocked by a person.

In this way, the protection of the worksheet can be protected with a maximum of approx. 2100 attempts to cancel, that means that can be done relatively quickly with a small macro. The protection for a VBA project can also be canceled in 15 minutes if you are able to use a common search engine.

 In plain language, Password Specialists (PassSpe) can override almost any password relatively "easily" or very "difficult", nothing is secure.

The only question is, how interested could strangers be in your data?

 It is all a question of time and money, which would be the interest of everyone who wants your data.

However, nothing is black or just white. In most cases, the file protection is sufficient compared to the interest of third parties.


Who should have increased interest in, for example, sales figures for a small company, or any sales figures for a representative?

Unless the IRS is behind your back, there is little need for action.

It looks different when it comes to market share calculations and research or development data.

Or if you have promised your boss flying rabbits and you can't even pull a chicken out of your knowledge hat ... I could imagine that there are a lot of interested parties for their data.

Does that apply to you?


Unlocking options

Password forgotten?

The preliminary remark is important:

This Discussion is not about cracking someone else's password in order to gain access to someone else's data. Expressly not as a "desirable side effect". Rather, I would like for your common Office Excel files how you can get your data back if you have locked yourself out.


Workbooks unlock,

Passwords in Excel for Mac and Word for Mac are limited to 15 characters. Who knows!

You cannot open a workbook or document that is password-protected in the Windows-based version of Excel or Word if the password is longer than fifteen characters.

Who was interested in knowing?

After that, most of them cannot open their own files without knowing why ... stupid excel!

(if they knew who called who stupid!).


A quick way to unlock the excel file here is with .zip

Only works if the file is .xlsx or .docx for Word (a .docx file, can also be opened by the same way).

CAUTION only to be used for your own Excel sheets!


Change the file extension to .7z and open the file in 7-Zip.

Go to the \ xl \ worksheets folder, right-click the sheet1.xml file

and select Edit to open it in/with Notepad.

Delete the text from <sheetProtection up to the closing square brackets >,

save the file and exit the editor.

Let 7-Zip update the archive and change the file extension back to .xlsx.


For earlier versions of Excel (from 2003 and down), I recommend the Free Word / Excel Password Recovery Wizard. Infinite possibilities, who can bing has an advantage!


Worksheet unlock, Area/range unlock, Column unlock, Row unlock, Cell unlock,

For some worksheets, it can take a whole day, sometimes more.

However, in the end, I was able to decipher all worksheets 99% of the time.

If it is a matter of removing (not retrieving) a Worksheet password, the following code may be used:

In a common Module, we paste the following code that removes the code from the activated sheet:

CAUTION!! Recommended only for proprietary Excel sheets!



Option Explicit

Sub GetPass()
    Const a = 65, b = 66, c = 32, d = 126
    Dim i#, j#, k#, l#, m#, n#, o#, p#, q#, r#, s#, t#
    With ActiveSheet
        If .ProtectContents Then
            On Error Resume Next
            For i = a To b
                For j = a To b
                    For k = a To b
                        For l = a To b
                            For m = a To b
                                For n = a To b
                                    For o = a To b
                                        For p = a To b
                                            For q = a To b
                                                For r = a To b
                                                    For s = a To b
                                                        For t = c To d
            .Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & _
            Chr(n) & Chr(o) & Chr(p) & Chr(q) & Chr(r) & Chr(s) & Chr(t)
                                                        Next t
                                                    Next s
                                                Next r
                                            Next q
                                        Next p
                                    Next o
                                Next n
                            Next m
                        Next l
                    Next k
                Next j
            Next i
            MsgBox "Finished"
        End If
    End With
End Sub


The time it will take depends to a large extent on the power of the computer.



VBA unlock/lock protection with Macro,


Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)

 Me.Unprotect ("1234")
‘ Your Code here
End If
 Me.Protect ("1234")
 End Sub



VBA Project password code unlock,

There are VBA codes like sand by the sea on the Internet.

Click on the heading here is just a small example, is built in to prevent the user from reading so much at once.

You can also contact me for detailed information. Please only inquire for serious, honest and especially your own projects.


What is your opinion on password unlocking?

What other unlocking suggestions do you have?


Share your knowledge with me, the only thing I know is that I do not know anything.


Thank you for your attention.



30 Replies



This a well put together summary and background as to the use of 'passwords' to protect sensitive info. Thanks for sharing.



Hi Nico
I'm getting married in a few weeks time, however, all of my planning data is on a password-protected Excel worksheet, but although I've tried every password i can think of, it won't open.

I have tried as many of the suggested methods in the discussion here to the best of my limited ability , but I'm not an expert, and I just can't  get them to work for me

And .. to prove my point, i can't even find the method to attach the Excel file ?
Help ! - you're my only hope at this stage.
I really do hope that you can assist please.

Many thanks in advance



Niko used his considerable expertise to recover an Excel worksheet for me recently, after i'd lost the password.
His communication was prompt, friendly, helpful and courteous at all times.

I recommend him 100000000000000000000000000000000000%



I've tried all the options found on here and am getting nowhere with the  file I'm trying to unlock (an xlsm)... Can you help if I dm it to you?

did he helped?


Hi Niko, I have been looking online at your responses. I have a excel spreadsheet that I desperately need to unprotect and cant for the life of me remember the password. I am happy to pay you if you can get this done.

Please let me know if this is possible. my email is email address removed for privacy reasons

Thanks Jenna 

Did you get a response?
unfortunately no



Hello, I needed to unlock a file my wife had that a previous evil employee purposely locked after he was fired. I used your advice from your original posting, and it WORKED LIKE A CHARM! I did this after spending hours trying to create a similar spreadsheet and it was just taking too long. So I looked you up and used your advice. Thank you for saving me time and making my wife happy! Cheers!

Super cool, it works like a miracle.

@NikolinoDE I made the xlsx into a 7z, opened with 7-zip but I do not have a xml sheet in my list of files. Its also not in the folders either. Any suggestions?