Recover/Remove Excel 2016 File Password

Top 3 Ways to Recover Excel 2016 Spreadsheet Password

March 21, 2017 11:43 am / Posted by Michael Eric to Office Tricks
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Excel 2016 use more sophisticated methods of sheet protection than previous Excel versions. It locks Excel sheets to avoid accidental changes in the contents and prevent Excel 2016 files from inadvertent erasure or modification of formulas. The password is so important, what if you forgot Excel 2016 file password or you want to remove Excel password protection? You’ll find 3 Excel 2016 password recovery solutions below.

Way 1: Remove Password from Excel 2016 with Known Password

This method is for those who have set a password to protect Excel files, but need to remove password for easy editing and sharing.

  • 1. Open the password protected Excel document by entering the password.
  • 2. Hit "File" and then click on "Protect Workbook".
  • 3. In the drop-down box, select "Encrypt with Password".
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  • 4. Erase the letters in the password box and click on OK to confirm the change.
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Note: Unprotecting Excel 2016 workbook or worksheet requires selecting Unprotect Workbook/Sheets under Review.

Way 2: Recover Excel 2016 Password without Knowing Password

Excel 2016 password recovery can be very easy if you use proper tools. Developed by SmartKey, Excel Password Recovery is a great Excel password cracker, offering a quick way to recover lost or forgotten Excel file password. The latest update has added multi-core GPU acceleration to make it faster in cracking Excel 2016 password.

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  • 1. Launch Excel Password Recovery from your desktop.
  • 2. Add Excel 2016 files and select a decryption method based on your current circumstances.
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  • 3. Click “Start” to allow the program decrypt the password-locked Excel file. Wait a few minutes, and the password will be displayed in a popup windows. The time required for decryption differs as the complexity of the passwords varies.
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Way 3: Recover Excel 2016 Workbook/Worksheet Password

This method is used when the structure of the workbook/worksheet has been locked, but you want to edit it. Note that this only works for locked sheets and books, not a password-protected file.

  • 1. Find the Excel file on your computer. You should see an ".xlsx" extension for the file. And now you change the "xlsx" extension to "zip".
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  • 2. Right-click the ZIP file and select "Extract All". This will create a new folder in your current location with the same name as the Excel file.
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  • 3. Open the "xl" folder and then the "worksheets" folder. This will display all of the sheets in the document. Each sheet will be its own file, such as "sheet1.xml".
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  • 4. Right-click the locked worksheet and select "Edit". This will open the XML information for the locked worksheet in Notepad.
  • 5. Press Ctrl+F to open the Find window and search for "sheetProtection" (or "workbookProtection"). You'll find it with information about the algorithm used to protect the sheet or workbook.
  • 6. Select all that in the brackets containing the word "sheetProtection" and delete it. Save the file and close Notepad.
  • 7. Press Ctrl+C to copy the edited worksheet or workbook file. Then double-click the ZIP file to open it. Do not extract it.
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  • 8. Go to the folder where you’ve stored your worksheet or workbook. Open the "xl" folder and then "worksheets" folder. Here’s the original worksheet file. If you edited the workbook.xml file, you should find it in the "xl" folder.
  • 9. Paste the edited file which will overwrite the original. Close the ZIP and then rename the extension back to "xlsx". This will change the ZIP file back into an Excel file.
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  • 10. Open the file and load the sheet or workbook. You should be able to edit the sheet without entering the password.


Personally, I prefer the first 2 solutions. I do not think I have the patience to go through all the steps in Way 3. What about you? Feel free to leave us a comment on which solution you like best.

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