The famous Microsoft Excel spreadsheet allows you to “Protect a sheet” with a password, to limit the ability to modify or access the formulas of other users. If you don’t have the password for the file, you can unlock it by following this tutorial.
In the “Revision” menu ofExcel, there is a “protect the sheet” feature. When enabled, users have restricted access to the file. In the event of an attempted unauthorized modification, a is displayed to indicate that it is necessary to remove the protection with the password.
If you need to unlock the Excel sheet but do not have the password, it is always possible to remove the protection by editing a configuration file. For this, you need to use the free and open source 7-Zip file compression / decompression software. This tool is better than WinZip in its handling of changes to XML files contained in archives.
Make a copy of your file, as a security measure. Make sure that Windows Explorer displays file name extensions, by checking this option in the “View” menu. Then change the extension of the copied file from “.xlsx” to “.zip”. Windows should display a warning that changing the extension may render the file unusable. Confirm with “yes”.
Open the newly created ZIP archive using 7-Zip and go to the xl worksheets directory. There you will find a file named “sheet1.xml”, which must be edited using Notepad. If you cannot open it, check in your Windows settings that this program is correctly configured asdefault for the type of .
The file contains a tag that determines the protection of the Excel sheet. It begins with “
Delete this paragraph and close the document. Confirm the saving of the modified file and update it in the archive (7-Zip will suggest it to you automatically) before exiting 7-Zip.
Since the protection paragraph has been removed from the archive, you must now change the file extension again. This time, change the extension “.zip” to “.xlsx”. You can then open the document using Excel.
Cell modification is now possible. If you want to protect the Excel sheet again, go to the “Review” tab and click on “Protect Sheet”. Enter the new password twice and confirm.
What you must remember
- Thanks to this tutorial, you now know how to remove password protection from Excel sheet. Make good use of it!