These days all the data is stored mostly in the form of excels. In a bid to protect the sheets, we put passwords. But what to do if we forget the password? Well, excel password recovery is not as easy as google password recoveries. But don’t worry, here in the blog we will present you with a step by step guide on how to unprotect excel sheet without password.

Is there anything that you must have to complete this process?

Well yes, you need to have any app which can zip and unzip folders.

Step 1

First we should understand how a sheet is protected. Open the excel sheet of your choice Go to the sheets which you want to lock and then go to Review tab and in the review tab you’ll find an option “Protect sheet” in the changes group.

Tip: Review Tab contains all the important keys you will require

Step 2

When you click the protect sheet button, you will be notified to provide for the password and display options to lock. Enter the password and keep the default options selected and finally click the OK button. After this you are supposed to re-enter the password, just for the safety and cross-checking purpose.After entering the password  click the OK button. Save the workbook and close the sheet. One thing to note here is that make sure that the workbook is not editable until it is unlocked.

Step 3

Since we have seen the procedure for locking the sheet here, we can move forward with the unlocking of the sheets.Now if you have a look, your excel workbook extension should be like .xlsx, xls etc., you need to change the extension to .zip by clicking F2 or Right click-> Rename. If you are not able to see the extension of the workbook go to Organize-> Folder and search option-> View tab. In the view tab, uncheck option “Hide extension for known file types” and click Apply and Ok button.

Step 4

Now your excel workbook naming convention should be like .zip. Using any unzipping software extract the excel zip file into a new folder to unprotect excel sheet without Password. Here, you can see four files(Three folders and one xml file).

Step 5

Open the  xl folder and here you’ll find three folders and three xml files. Go to the worksheets folder and it will show the sheet name in xml format.

Step 6

Open the xml sheet name which you want to unprotect using word pad. You can see the excel data converted in xml language. Press Ctrl+F, enter the word “Protection” and click “Find Next”. It’ll take you to that position as shown below.

Step 7

XML tags start with ‘<’ and end with ‘/>’. Here, what you simply need to do is just delete the tags which contain the word “Sheet protection”. Select the portion and click backspace or delete. Save the xml (Ctrl+S) and close the file.

Step 8

Now go back to the path shown in step 5. Select and zip those three folders and xml file.

Step 9

Convert the file from zip to xlsx. Open the sheet and now you can see that sheet is unprotected! Now you can perform any edits comfortably.

The best practice usually is to keep the passwords with yourself, in case you have no clear hint you can use this process. One thing to mention here is that all these processes should be utilised only when you are authorised to use. If used in any other form can prove to be a criminal offence.



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