The 2 best ways to unprotect a Microsoft Excel Worksheet in Windows 10

Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular tools for data analysis and calculation. Due to the nature of Excel, a change to a cell or a worksheet can affect the output produced. For this reason, most users use the Protect Sheet or Protect Workbook feature Excel to prevent unwanted changes.

But what if you need to unprotect? Excel Worksheet or workbook? There are a few ways to achieve this, and we’ll show you how to do it.

1. Unprotect Microsoft Excel Use a password

If you have the password for the protected Microsoft Excel Worksheet, unprotecting is easy. This is how it works:

Step 1: Start the Microsoft Excel File.

Step 2: To identify a locked or protected worksheet, click on any of the cells and you should get a dialog box that says the sheet is protected. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 2

Step 3: In the protected worksheet, on the Ribbon tab, click Review.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 3

Step 4: In the Protect group, select Protect Worksheet.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 4

Step 5: When you have the password for the worksheet, enter the password in the dialog box that appears and select OK. The worksheet becomes unprotected if you enter the correct password.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 5

2. Unprotect Microsoft Excel Without a password

What if you don’t have the password for the protected worksheet or workbook? You can still unprotect Excel Workbook or worksheet using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) or other spreadsheet software such as Google Sheets.

Remove Microsoft protection Excel by uploading to Google Sheets

This last method requires an internet connection and a Google account. Here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Visit Google Sheets in a web browser.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 6

Step 2: Under the Start a New Spreadsheet title bar, click Empty (+).

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 7

Step 3: In the new table, click File.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 8

Step 4: Click on Import in the menu.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 9

Step 5: In the dialog box, click Upload and drag the Excel File from your device in Google Sheets.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook Step 10

Step 6: After the file is uploaded, select Import Data.

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Step 7: The data of the Excel should now be in Google Sheets. To transform it again Excel Form, choose File.

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Step 8: Select Download and then Microsoft Excel (.xlsx). Once you launch the downloaded file, the passcode restrictions should no longer apply.

Excel- Protect Worksheet and Workbook Step 13

Remove Microsoft protection Excel Using Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

You can unprotect a password protected worksheet or workbook easily with a VBA code. However, this method is only available to Microsoft Excel 2010 or earlier versions. This is how it works:

Step 1: Make a copy of the Microsoft Excel File and start the copy.

Making a copy ensures you have a backup in case the VBA encoding fails.

Step 2: Check the file extension of the workbook. If it has an .xlsx extension, you’ll need to save it again in .xls format by clicking File, then click Save As.

The xlsx format is for workbooks that were created, edited, or saved in the newer format Excel Versions (Microsoft 2013 or higher). The VBA method does not work for such workbooks.

Excel- Protect Worksheet and Workbook Step 14

Step 3: Enter the name of Excel File and select .xls from the drop-down menu for the file type and click Save.

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Step 4: Start the Visual Basic Editor by pressing Alt + F11 on your keyboard.

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Step 5: Select Insert in the ribbon of the editor and then Module from the menu list.

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Step 6: A new window for the VBA code should open. Note the two drop-down lists with general information and declarations.

Excel- Protect Worksheet and Workbook Step 18

Step 7: In the module window, copy and paste the following code:

Sub PasswordBreaker()
Breaks worksheet password protection.
Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, k As Integer
Dim l As Integer, m As Integer, n As Integer
Dim i1 As Integer, i2 As Integer, i3 As Integer
im i4 As Integer, i5 As Integer, i6 As Integer
On Error Resume Next
For i = 65 To 66: For j = 65 To 66: For k = 65 To 66
For l = 65 To 66: For m = 65 To 66: For i1 = 65 To 66
For i2 = 65 To 66: For i3 = 65 To 66: For i4 = 65 To 66
For i5 = 65 To 66: For i6 = 65 To 66: For n = 32 To 126
ActiveSheet.Unprotect Chr(i) & Chr(j) & Chr(k) & _
Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & Chr(i3) & _
Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
If ActiveSheet.ProtectContents = False Then
MsgBox "Password is " & Chr(i) & Chr(j) & _
Chr(k) & Chr(l) & Chr(m) & Chr(i1) & Chr(i2) & _
Chr(i3) & Chr(i4) & Chr(i5) & Chr(i6) & Chr(n)
Exit Sub
End If
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
Next: Next: Next: Next: Next: Next
End Sub

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Step 8: After pasting the code, the second drop-down menu from Declarations should change to PasswordBreaker. Run the program by pressing F5 on the PC keyboard.

Excel- Protect worksheet and workbook step 20

Step 9: You should see a new password in a pop-up window made up of the letter A instead of a normal password. Once you click OK, remove the password-protected worksheet.

Excel- Protect Worksheet and Workbook Step 21

Step 10: Click Ctrl + S to save changes.

Protect Google Sheets

Those were the ways to unprotect a Microsoft Excel Worksheet or workbook in Windows 10. Google Sheets also offers a way to limit edits to cells and rows. You can do this by locking cells and rows in Google Sheets.

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