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Crack Microsoft Excel Password Free | Excel

2007, 2010, 2013

March 5, 2014 by Ryan McCormick 4 Comments
It is always annoying when forgetting passwords. It is also annoying when you inherit a
document from a previous employee and it is protected by a password only they knew. But your
boss asked for you to get the data from that spreadsheet and change some things and Right now!
What are you going to do?
Well the good news is that if the document isnt encrypted, this process is pretty straightforward.
You will be up and running in no time! AND you dont have to spend $40 on some software you
will use only once.
If you need to crack a Word Document as well, check out my Crack Microsoft Word Password
Free post.

Crack Microsoft Excel Password Instructions

These instructions cover the process of breaking edit/read only protection on Microsoft Excel
workbooks and worksheets. This WILL NOT work on Excel files that have been encrypted.
There can be a number of reasons for breaking password protection on an Excel file. Before we
start, please note that I take zero responsibility for the results of these instructions. You are the
master of your own actions and by proceeding, you take full responsibility of your own actions.

Step 1: Make a Backup of Your File

You will be making changes to the internal structure of your document. It is good practice
to create backups before starting.

Step 2: Check your file format

This will only work on Excel files that are 2007, 2010, 2013 and have .xlsx, .xlsm formats. If
your document is in an older format .xls from Excel 2003 or older, open in Excel 2007, 2010,
or 2013 and save as an .xlsx file. If your excel file has macros, save as an .xlsm file to enable

Step 3: Disassemble your Document

Because the .xlsx file format is based on a tree structure with XML files, it is easy to
disassemble. For this example, I protected both the individual worksheet and workbook on my
sample excel file. We will break this protection by changing some settings in the file.
For the disassembly process, the main file compression utility in windows will work just fine.
For the first part of this demo, I am using WinRAR (Free to download). If you cant install
WinRAR, please scroll down to see the alternate disassembly process using the Windows built-in
file compression tool.
Disassembly with WinRAR:
1. Open WinRAR and click the File menu.
2. Select Open archive.
3. Set the file type at the bottom from all archives to all files.
4. Locate your Excel file and click Open

Step 4: Remove Password Protection

The root view of the excel file structure:

The files you are going to edit are in the xl folder that is circled in red.
For Workbook(whole excel file) Settings:
For Individual Worksheet File Settings:
xl>worksheets>sheet1.xml [sheet2.xml] etc

Make your Changes

Browse to xl>workbook.xml and double click on the file. If you are prompted to select an
application, always select NOTEPAD NOT WORDPAD!
If you are unfamiliar with XML, this might look strange. Find the line that looks like:


Change lockStructure=1 to lockStructure=0

Save and Close the XML file you just edited
WinRAR will tell you that workbook.xml was modified and ask you to update it in the archive.
Select YES.

Browse to xl>worksheets>sheet1.xml(or sheet2, sheet3, etc) and double click on the file.
Delete the whole line that looks like:

<sheetProtection algorithmName="SHA-512"

Save and Close the XML file you just edited

When prompted to update the archive with the file you just modified, select YES.
Close out of WinRAR and Open your file.

NOTE: If you are using Excel 2010, the following buttons may need to be clicked on to
unstick them:

Once unstuck, you should now be able to edit the document as you please.

Alternate Disassembly Instructions Windows Archive Tool

By default, file extensions are hidden for common document types. You will need to change your
folder settings to show file extensions.
Here are some instructions that should cover Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7:
Once you can see the file extension of your Excel Document file, change the file extension
from .xlsx, .xlsm to .zip after the change, you will get a warning that you are changing the
extension. Click OK or YES to accept.
Now that your file is in a .zip format, right-click on your file and select Open With>Windows

Click Extract all Files, select your file destination and click Extract

Remove Excel File Password Protection

Refer to Step 4 above for changes
Make your changes, save your files and move to the next step

Alternate Instructions for Reassembly

1. Select all your files (_rels,docProps,xl,[Content_Types].xml, etc), right-click and
select: Send to>Compressed (zipped) folder. If you create your archive by selecting
your main folder and not all of the files, you may run into errors when re-opening.
2. Change the file extension of your archive back to the original .xlsx, .xlsm. When
prompted to confirm changing the file extension, select yes.
3. You should be able to open your fixed excel file. NOTE: your new filename will be
whatever file you right-clicked on to create the archive. Feel free to change it back.
Please comment if you get stuck. Likewise if you have other questions or improvements.