“Hi, I have two very important Excel files that are password-protected, and I need to unlock them by any means. One file asks for a password when I am opening it, while the other is opening but asks for a password for editing the spreadsheets. Please tell me how to unlock the Excel sheet for editing.”
Sometimes we download Excel files from the internet, but they are password-protected so unauthorized persons cannot open them. Sometimes, the owner of the Excel file you received might have locked the spreadsheets with a password to prevent printing and editing. Similarly, you could have locked some Excel files and forgotten the passwords. Unlocking Excel files for editing is difficult for regular users as no option is readily available.
Fortunately, there are legitimate ways to unlock Excel files and spreadsheets. There are different types of passwords applicable to Excel files. It is easier to unlock Excel spreadsheets for editing than Excel files. But if you use an Excel password unlocker, it will be a cakewalk. We will illustrate all the possible ways to unlock an Excel file in simple steps.
Part 1. Password types in Excel
Users can use different types of passwords to protect their Excel files and spreadsheets from unauthorized access.
- Password to open – To prevent others from opening an Excel file, one can set a password to open the document. Only the users who have the password can open the Excel file.
- Password to modify – If you want others to open your Excel file but do not want them to make any changes to the document, you can set a password to modify.
- Password for VBA Modules – An Excel file can contain VBA modules with macros. The owner can password-protect these VBA modules to prevent any modifications.
Part 2. How to Unlock Excel File for Editing
The easiest way of unlocking Excel files for editing is by using a premium Excel password unlocker. You can opt for a dedicated desktop Excel password unlocker as well as an online Excel password unlocker. Besides, you can use VBA code and file extension change trick to unlock any password-protected Excel files you cannot open. We will discuss all these methods in detail now.
2.1. Using a Desktop Excel Password Unlocker
The best way to unlock a password-protected Excel file is by using a professional Excel password unlocker. You can instantly recover the password to open the Excel file in a few steps. We recommend PassFab for Excel as the best desktop Excel password unlocker. The application has the highest success rate in unlocked Excel files with even complex passwords.
You can use PassFab for Excel to recover passwords of different Excel files, from XLS and XLSX to XLSM and XLSB. The application is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2019 or any previous versions. You must download and install PassFab for Excel on your desktop computer and follow these steps.
Step 1: Launch PassFab for Excel and click on the Recover Excel Open Password option.
Step 2: Click on Add button to import the password-protected Excel file.
Step 3: Select any of the three advanced password recovery methods and click on the Recover button.
Step 4: Wait patiently for the password recovery process to get completed. PassFab for Excel will show you the recovered password on the screen.
Step 5: You can copy the password and open the Excel file to enter the copied password to open it successfully.
2.2. Using an Online Excel Password Unlocker
If you want to unlock an Excel file’s password on your mobile device, you can use an online Excel password unlocker. There are few reliable online Excel password unlocker platforms available, but Password-Find is an exception. You can either remove the password from the Excel file or recover the password so that you can enter the password and unlock the file. Removing passwords is completely free while recovering passwords involves payment. Here are the steps to unlock any password-protected Excel file on the go via Password-Find.
Step 1: Open your web browser and visit the official website of Password-Find. Click on the Unprotect Your File button.
Step 2: Click on the Browse button to upload your password-protected Excel file. After that, click on the Next Step button to proceed.
Step 3: Select the Remove Password option and click on the Next Button.
Step 4: Password-Find will remove the password from the Excel file. After that, click on the Click Here option to download the decrypted Excel file. You can open the Excel file now without any password.
2.3. Using VBA Code
Microsoft Excel is compatible with a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications(VBA). Users can write VBA codes to accomplish functions not present in Excel. For example, users can automate certain repetitive tasks, perform complicated calculations, create custom forms, etc. VBA codes can be useful in unlocking Excel files for editing. Here are the steps on how to unlock an Excel file via VBA code.
Step 1: Open the password-protected Excel file. Press the Alt+F11 keys to open VBA Editor.
Step 2: Go to the Insert menu option and click on the Module option.
Step 3: Type in the following VBA code in the module box.
Step 4: Click on the Save option to save the VBA code. Press the F5 key to execute the VBA code. Alternatively, you can click on the Run icon as well.
Step 5: You will get a pop-up message. Note down the password from the message box.
Step 6: Go to the Review menu tab and click on the Unprotect Sheet option. Enter the noted password to unlock the Excel file.
Please note that this method may not work for the latest Microsoft Office version though it works perfectly in older versions.
2.4. By Modifying the File Extension
If you use an older version of Microsoft Office, you can change the extension from XLSX to ZIP to unlock the password-protected Excel file. This method applies only to Microsoft Office 2010 or previous versions. The steps are slightly technical, but if you follow them minutely, you can unlock the password-protected Excel file successfully. Before proceeding, create a backup of the Excel file.
Step 1: Right-click on the Excel file and click on the Rename option from the menu.
Step 2: Change the extension of the Excel file from “.csv” or “xlsx” to “.zip” extension. Press the Enter key to confirm the extension modification. You will get a warning message and click on the Yes button to proceed.
Step 3: Right-click on the new ZIP file to unzip it. After unzipping, you will see multiple files, and you need to search for the file that ends with the “.xml” extension. Check the Worksheets folder inside the XL folder to spot the XML files.
Step 4: Right-click on the XML file one by one and open the file with an XML editor.
Step 5: Press the Ctrl+F keys to open the Find dialogue box and search for the “sheetProtection” tag. Delete the entire tag from the XML file. Save the file. Repeat the step for all the available XML files.
Step 6: Change the extension again from “.zip” to “.xlsx” or “.csv” to change the ZIP file into an Excel file. After that, open the Excel file, and the password protection must have vanished.
Part 3. How to Unlock Excel Spreadsheet for Editing
We have already stated that the owner of an Excel file can protect the spreadsheet from modification by setting a password to modify. If you have received such an Excel file, you can open it and check its content but not modify anything in the spreadsheet.
You can use Google Sheets to unlock Excel spreadsheets. You can even copy the content of the locked spreadsheet and paste them into a new Excel file. But a better solution is to use an Excel restriction unlocker. Here will illustrate all these methods in detail now.
3.1. Via Google Sheets
You can open the Excel file with a protected spreadsheet via Google Sheets of Google Drive to unlock the spreadsheet instantly for editing. This method exploits a shortcoming of Google Sheets, and this trick may not work in the future if Google addresses the shortcoming going forward. Here are the steps on how to unlock Excel sheets for editing via Google Sheets.
Step 1: Open Google Drive from your web browser. Log in with your Google account to access your Google Drive account.
Step 2: Click on the New button located at the top-left corner. Select the File Upload option from the menu.
Step 3: Select the Excel file from your hard drive that contains the protected spreadsheet and click on the Open button to upload the Excel file to Google Drive.
Step 4: Once uploaded, right-click on the Excel file in Google Drive and click on the Google Sheets located inside the Open With option.
The Excel file will open in Google Sheets, and the protected spreadsheet should be unlocked for editing.
3.2. Via Copying the Content
A locked spreadsheet does not allow editing or printing of the content. But if the owner of the Excel file has enabled the Select locked cells option, you can copy the content of the locked spreadsheet. After that, you can paste the content into a new Excel file and edit the new spreadsheet as per your requirements. Here are the steps on how to unlock an Excel spreadsheet for editing by copying its content.
Step 1: Open the Excel file with the protected spreadsheet.
Step 2: Select all the data on the spreadsheet and press the Ctrl+C keys.
Step 3: Open a new Excel file and press the Ctrl+V keys on the new spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can click on the Paste option located under the Home tab and select the Keep Source Formatting option. This will paste the copied data in the same format as the original file.
After that, edit the data as needed and save the file before closing the file.
3.3. Using an Excel Restriction Unlocker
The best way to unlock protected spreadsheets of an Excel file is through a professional Excel restriction unlocker. We still recommend PassFab for Excel to bypass the password set to modify a spreadsheet. The application has the highest success rate, and you can instantly remove the password from the locked spreadsheet. Here are the steps to remove Excel restriction passwords on spreadsheets for editing.
Step 1: Download and install PassFab for Excel on your computer. Launch the application and select the Remove Excel Restriction Password option.
Step 2: Click on the “+” icon to import the Excel file with the locked spreadsheet. Click on the Remove button to proceed.
Step 3: Wait a few seconds for PassFab for Excel to remove the password from the locked spreadsheet. Click on the Open Folder button to get the new Excel file with the unlocked spreadsheet.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I unlock my Excel spreadsheet?
If you know the password, open the spreadsheet you want to unlock. Go to File> Info> Protect> Unprotect Sheet option. You have to enter the password to unlock the spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can go to the Review tab> Changes> Unprotect Sheet option and enter the password to unlock the spreadsheet.
How to unlock an Excel spreadsheet for editing without the password?
Unlocking a locked Excel spreadsheet without entering the password is easy. You can open the locked spreadsheet with Google Sheets to unlock it. But the best way is to use an Excel spreadsheet password remover like PassFab for Excel to unlock the spreadsheet instantly and successfully.
Why is my Excel spreadsheet locked for editing?
Your Excel spreadsheet can be locked for editing if any of these three scenarios occur. If you have shared the files with another user and the other user is editing the file, it will be locked for editing on your side. If you have already opened the file once before and it is running in the background, your current Excel file will be locked for editing. If the file is marked as Final, it will open in read-only mode and stays locked for editing.
You can come across password-protected Excel files you cannot open or edit without entering the password. Various legitimate methods and tricks are available to bypass or recover the password. The best and most reliable method is using a professional Excel password recovery and removal tool. We recommend PassFab for Excel to unlock password-protected Excel files and spreadsheets instantly and successfully.