Unlock Password Protected Excel Workbooks

NOTE: This method will not work with password encrypted documents.

Here's a sneaky trick I discovered to unlock any password protected Excel workbook. This method works for protected sheets and workbooks. But not for encrypted documents.

The difference between protected and encrypted is that protected only stops you from seeing or changing parts of the file after you've opened it, but an encrypted file is.. encrypted and cannot be read by anything without the unlock key/password.

So if the document you have requires a password to open it; I cannot help you.

All you need is the file you want to un-protect and access to Google's cloud-based spreadsheet application; Google Sheets.

Unlocking the Workbook

  1. Create a new blank document in Google Sheets.
  2. Goto File > Import and upload your protected workbook file.

Or in one step by hitting the File Picker folder icon and going straight to uploading the file.


Congratulations, that document has been un-protected and you can sift through and change all its delicious contents.

Note: The hidden content will still be hidden within Google Sheets, but it allows you to un-hide them.

Downloading the Unlocked Workbook

Now you can simply export the workbook from Google Sheets via File > Download As and picking your file-type of choice; then re-opening it in MS Excel and you have access to everything! :)

Tweet me if you have any comments or issues.