Possible Duplicate:
Remove password from an Excel Document

For some reason I cannot find the password I used to protect an Excel 2010 file a few months ago.

How do I unlock or recover it?

marked as duplicate by slhck Dec 10 '12 at 14:49

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 30 '12 at 14:25

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • You may try to get help from some applications you find by searching google, but be careful because most password recovery apps are just a scam to install keyloggers and other malware to your computer. My suggestion would be to use Softpedia or some similar site that you can trust. – Mavromatis Lozay Jan 30 '12 at 14:57

When I lost my Excel password, I did quite a research only to find out that all password recovery programs can't guarantee successful restoration of lost password. If the password is long and complex, it may take years for them to find it. The only way to reliably remove password from Excel 2007 or later version (I had Excel 2010) that I have found was online service called www.password-find.com. It exploited some new algorithm that allows removing password instantaneously (removed my within several seconds). However it does not work for 100% of documents, so check it by yourself - maybe the developers improved it since then. If your document is saved in old Excel 97-2003 format you may try Free Excel password Recovery that someone mentioned already - it may work if lost password is really simple. I hope my post will save you a huge amount of time I wasted looking for some problem resolution.


Maybe this helps: Free Excel password Recovery

Before doing this I would backup your file, just to make sure.


The same old problem. There is no way quicker than remembering the password. Because whatever tools and softwares you find online to recover password will take a hint from you about the password(like how long was it, what was the first letter, was there any special character etc) and will try a brute force attack. And that attack might get it done in some time or might take forever depending on how close your hint was to the actual password. In either case, it'll take a long time. So its better you eat some healthy food and start trying to remember the password. Or just take the suggestion from the other answers.

  • This is not entirely accurate. Excel validates the password against the hash so there is a myriad of actual strings that will unprotect the file. I've never had a password take more than a couple of seconds to crack. – Jesse Feb 11 '12 at 0:16
  • So you are saying multiple strings can generate the same hash and hence open the file? Please kindly show us few examples. – Bibhas Feb 11 '12 at 4:00
  • That is correct, you can google it. I don't share information to bypass security. – Jesse Feb 11 '12 at 18:56
  • 2
    It's not opinion, it's experience. Here's a link to an article about a user's experience with password crackers that indicates the same thing. – Jesse Feb 11 '12 at 22:06
  • 1
    @Bibhas - it's quite easy to identify using simple math. If a hash has a length of say, 14 characters, and the password can be say, 30 characters, there has to be on average more than one password for each hash. Jesse is correct here. – Graham Wager Dec 10 '12 at 14:37