Unlock a Password Protected Microsoft Excel Spreedsheet/Workbook


Alert Picture

I have been tasked with “unlocking” protected Microsoft Excel documents on many occasions. People forget the password, or an employee leaves the company without passing on that important info. Recently, I had a colleague spend $45 on a piece of software that was supposed to crack the code…  After installing the software, and running it for over an hour. I was finally called onto the scene. (I would never recommend downloading cracking tools!!!)

I wanted to write a quick tutorial to show people how you can unlock any Microsoft Excel Pass Protected workbook easily, fast, and best of all completely FREE!  I am hoping this will help someone out there save some $$$, and aggravation!


Open Office ( A completely free Office suite.)

A few hundred MB’s of space to install Open Office

That is it!

Lets get started!

Step 1:         Download and install  The open Office suite. (http://openoffice.org)

Step 2:  Right Click on the Excel file you wish to “Unlock” (As seen in the picture below)

Using open with calc image

If you have installed Open Office properly you will have the option to open with “OpenOffice.org calc”.

Step 3:   Once you have opened the document in calc. you should see a “tools” drop down. (Seen Below)

Open Office Unlook image

Yep!  That’s right!  It really is that easy!  Scroll on down to the Protect Document, and remove the checks!

Final Step:   Now to finish things up we want to save this back as a Microsoft Document so that our co-workers will still be able to open it. Since they aren’t as cool as us and our open office tricks!  As you can see in the image below you can save the doc back in many formats!

save as xlm

Open office will default to a .ods file. (Because this is their own format)  So you will want to make sure and select the appropriate Microsoft Format. That’s it! You have successfully cracked an Excel Spredsheet! Fast and free!

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