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I'm providing internal support and one of our users has managed to put a password on an excel file by accident, I've done the proper checks to make sure that the user should have access to the document and now want to know what the recommendation for removing a password from an Excel document.

For what its worth, the password appears after Excel opens but before you can see any data in excel.

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Um, you're kinda stuffed. Unless you want to do complicated cryptography stuff... (I'm not aware of any programs for doing this on .xls). There's no normal, automated way of doing this in Excel - that would kind-of defeat the point of having a password in the first place... your only hope would be a special cipher cracking program for such files (which may be hard to find). Maybe Google decrypt xls or something similar. –  samjetski Oct 21 '09 at 10:06
    
the excel .xlsx file is actually just a zip file. unzip and follow instructions such as these. have tried in past not sure if it works if whole file is password protected though. nileshkumar83.blogspot.com/2012/05/… –  Joop Oct 1 at 12:41

2 Answers 2

Elcomsoft make a pretty useful program called Advanced Office Password Recovery which can do the job better than anything else I've used.

It's probably worth putting a value on the data you're trying to recover before attempting this, sometimes it's less expensive to let the user re-create the document from scratch (and teaches them a valuable lesson ;-) ). AOPR isn't free, and the passwords can sometimes only be worked out by brute force (trying every possible combination of letters) which can take a very long time.

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Elmcomsoft's programs are good, I've had success with this in the past for opening an Excel file I was sent without the password. Get a decent wordlist, and try that first (the one included in Cain and Abel is a nice 3MB one). If that fails, give brute force a try, but if it's a strong password, you're never getting in. –  Dentrasi Oct 21 '09 at 18:58
    
I'm not a fan of recommending commercial software on this site, but in this case it's by far the best choice. Recommended. +1. –  agtoever Nov 10 at 12:57

Is something like this, the Excel Password Remover XLA add-in, what you are after?

EDIT: Thinking about it, maybe not - this is used for removing the password from protected worksheets/workbooks.

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whether ethically we can solve using this tool ? –  joe Oct 21 '09 at 10:41
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bwahahahahahaha –  Daddy Warbox May 29 '10 at 14:28

protected by slhck Dec 13 '12 at 9:39

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