How to Decrypt Excel File Without Password (2 Easy Ways)

We’ll the following Excel sheet to showcase decryption. It contains a sales overview.

Dataset to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

If I try to edit something in this Excel sheet it shows a Warning Box.

Warning Box When you try to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

To check if the Excel sheet is protected, go to the Review tab from Ribbon. In the Protect group, you will see that the sheet is protected.

If you click on Unprotect Sheet, you will see the Unprotect Sheet dialog box. You will need to insert a password here to decrypt the Excel file. We’ll show you how to decrypt Excel file without password in 2 different ways.


Method 1 – Use the ZIP Extension to Decrypt an Excel File Without a Password

Let’s use a protected sheet to show the method.

Use ZIP Extenxion to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

Steps:

  • In the following image, you can see that the file extension is not showing.

  • Go to the View tab.
  • Check the File name extensions option.

  • Change the file extension to zip.
  • Press Enter.

Use ZIP Extenxion to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

  • A warning box will appear asking you to confirm the change. Select Yes.

Use ZIP Extenxion to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

  • You will see ta new file extension.

  • Select the file.
  • Right-click on it.
  • Select Extract to Decrypting Excel File.

Extracting Zip File to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • A new folder will be created. Open that folder.

  • Open the folder named xl.

Opening xl Folder to Decrypt Excel File withour Password

  • Open the folder named worksheets.

Opening Worksheets folder to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • You will see all the worksheets of that Excel file. We want to remove protection from sheet3.

  • Right-click on sheet3.
  • Select Open with.
  • Select WordPad.

  • In that document, find the highlighted part in the following image, starting with <sheetProtection.
  • Delete that part.
  • Press Ctrl + S to save the file.

Removing Protection from Sheet to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • Select all the folders and files.
  • Right-click and select Send to.
  • Choose Compressed (zipped) folder.

  • Nme the file as you want.

  • You will see that you have got your zipped file.

  • Change the extension of the file to xlsm.
  • Press Enter.

Changing File Extension to xlsm again to Decrypt Excel file without Password

  • A warning box will appear. Select Yes.

  • You will get your desired Excel file.
  • Open that file to check if the file is decrypted.

  • You can see that you have decrypted the Excel file without a password.


Method 2 – Employ Macros to Decrypt an Excel File Without a Password

We’ll use the same sheet to show the method.

Employ Macros to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

Steps:

  • Go to the Developer tab.
  • Select Visual Basic.

Opening Visual Basic Editor Window to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • The Visual Basic editor window will open. Select the Insert tab.
  • Select Module.

Inserting Module to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • A Module will open. Paste the following code in the Module.
Sub Decrypt_File()
Dim p As Integer, q As Integer, r As Integer
Dim a As Integer, b As Integer, c As Integer
Dim p1 As Integer, p2 As Integer, p3 As Integer
Dim p4 As Integer, p5 As Integer, p6 As Integer
On Error Resume Next
For p = 65 To 66: For q = 65 To 66: For r = 65 To 66
For a = 65 To 66: For b = 65 To 66: For p1 = 65 To 66
For p2 = 65 To 66: For p3 = 65 To 66: For p4 = 65 To 66
For p5 = 65 To 66: For p6 = 65 To 66: For c = 32 To 126
ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(p) & Chr(q) & Chr(r) & Chr(a) & Chr(b) _
& Chr(p1) & Chr(p2) & Chr(p3) & Chr(p4) & Chr(p5) & Chr(p6) & Chr(c)
If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
MsgBox "Done!"
Exit Sub
End If
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next:
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next:
End Sub

VBA Code to Decrypt Excel File without Password

How Does the Code Work?

  • We used 12 For Next loop to go through the characters.
  • We used the ActiveSheet.Unprotect method to remove the protection from the active sheet.
  • The Chr function gets the characters equivalent to the ASCII code.
  • The ActiveSheet.ProtectContents property checks if the worksheet is still protected or not. If it is False then a message box will appear showing “Done!”.
  • Save the code and go back to your worksheet.

Saving Code to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • Go to the Developer tab again.
  • Select Macros.

Running Macros to Decrypt Excel File Without Password

  • The Macro dialog box will appear. Select Decrypt_File as the Macro name.
  • Select Run.

Macro Dialog Box to Decrypt Excel File without Password

  • A message box will appear. Select OK.

  • The protection will be removed from the Excel sheet. To check that, we will try editing the sheet.
  • Select the range where you want to add Fill Color.
  • Go to the Home tab.
  • Click on the drop-down option for Fill Color.

  • Select the color you want.

  • You can see that a Fill Color is added to the selected range. That means you have decrypted the file without a password.

Read More: How to Encrypt Cell Contents in Excel


How to Decrypt an Excel File with a Password

Steps:

  • You will see a dialog box appear when you open the file.
  • Write the password in the dialog box.
  • Press OK.

How to Decrypt Excel File with Password

  • Your Excel file will be decrypted.
  • Go to the File tab.

  • Select Info.

  • Click on the drop-down menu for Protect Workbook.
  • Select Encrypt with Password.

  • A dialog box will appear. Clear the password from here.
  • Select OK.

  • You have removed the protection from the Excel file.

Read More: How to Create Encryption Function in Excel


Things to Remember

  • For Method 2, if you want to remove protection from multiple sheets, you will have to run the code from each sheet individually, and the code might take a while to finish.

Practice Section

We have provided a practice sheet for you to practice how to decrypt an Excel file with a password.

Practice Sheet for How to Decrypt Excel File without Password


Download the Practice Workbook


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Mashhura Jahan
Mashhura Jahan

Mashhura Jahan, BSc in Industrial and Production Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, invested 1.5 years at ExcelDemy. In roles like Excel & VBA Content Developer, Excel Charts, and Dashboard course trainer, she wrote 90+ articles. She was previously part of the forum support team and a junior software analyst on the Excel Add-in project. With interests spanning Excel, VBA, Power Query, Python, Data Science, and Software Development, Mashhura brings a diverse skill set to her... Read Full Bio

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