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Excel Guide

How to Unlock Cells in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you've forgotten a password for a workbook or worksheet in Microsoft Excel, there are several methods to unlock cells. Here's a step-by-step guide for various approaches.

Method 1: Use an Encryption-Breaking Program

  • Programs like Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery, iSumsoft Excel Password Refixer, and Passcovery Suite can break encryption.
  • Download and install the program.
  • Open the program, select the encrypted Excel file, and follow instructions.
  • Once encryption is broken, you can open the file without a password.

Method 2: Use a Password Recovery Tool

  • Tools like Elcomsoft Advanced Office Password Recovery, iSumsoft Office Password Refixer, and Office Password Breaker can brute force passwords.
  • Download and install the tool.
  • Open the program, select the encrypted Excel file, and follow instructions.
  • Once the password is recovered, you can open the file without a password.

Method 3: Use a Hex Editor

  • Download and install a hex editor (e.g., HxD).
  • Open the hex editor, select the encrypted Excel file, and search for the string "DPB=".
  • Delete the string and save the file.
  • Afterward, you can open the file without a password.

Method 4: Use a Macro

  • Open the file in Excel.
  • Press Alt+F8 to open the Macro dialog box.
  • Select the desired macro and click Run.
  • The macro will remove the password, allowing you to save the file without a password.

Method 5: Use the Unprotect Sheet Feature

  • Open the worksheet in Excel.
  • Click on the Review tab.
  • Click on Unprotect Sheet.
  • Enter the worksheet password.
  • The worksheet will be unprotected, and you can save it without a password.

Method 6: Use the Unprotect Workbook Feature

  • Open the workbook in Excel.
  • Click on the Review tab.
  • Click on Unprotect Workbook.
  • Enter the workbook password.
  • The workbook will be unprotected, and you can save it without a password.

Method 7: Use the Password to Open Feature

  • Open the workbook in Excel.
  • Click on the File tab.
  • Go to Info > Protect Workbook > Encrypt with Password.
  • Enter the workbook password.
  • The workbook will be unprotected, and you can save it without a password.

Method 8: Use the Password to Modify Feature

  • Open the workbook in Excel.
  • Click on the File tab.
  • Go to Info > Protect Workbook > Encrypt with Password.
  • Enter the workbook password.
  • The workbook will be unprotected, and you can save it without a password.

Conclusion

These methods offer different approaches to unlock cells in Excel if you've forgotten your password. Choose the one that suits your preferences, whether it's using an encryption-breaking program, a password recovery tool, a hex editor, a macro, or built-in Excel features like Unprotect Sheet, Unprotect Workbook, Password to Open, or Password to Modify.