5 Best Software to Recover Microsoft Excel Passwords

Recover Microsoft Excel password-lock files with those tools

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • To get back a forgotten password from an encrypted Excel sheet, you need the best Excel password recovery software.
  • You can find here a tool to recover password for 2013, 2016 and even 2019 version of Excel.
  • Another program allows you to get the password not only for Excel files, but also for all MS Office documents.
  • We also provide you with a software that lets you customize and control the recovery process.

From billing and data management to keeping track of inventory, finance, and business tasks, Microsoft Excel is one handy program.

The fact that the Excel application is being primarily used by business owners, shouldn’t raise any eyebrows if the important Excel documents are encrypted with a password.

However, if you set a complex password and forgot it or someone else set the password while working on the sheet and forgot to remove it while leaving, you will be stuck with a password-encrypted Excel sheet with no recovery options by default.

Fortunately, there are a couple of password recovery programs to recover Microsoft Excel passwords on Windows devices. These are small, lightweight utilities equipped with different attack modes ranging from brute-force to dictionary attacks and support all versions of MS Excel.

If you are looking for free and paid software to recover MS Excel passwords, here are a few programs you should try.

So, in this article, we take a look at the best software to recover Microsoft Excel passwords on Windows computers.

What are the best software to recover Excel passwords?

Passware Kit Basic – Multi-purpose recovery tool

Passware Kit Basic is a multi-purpose Windows password recovery tool. It allows you to recover passwords for not only Excel files but also all MS Office documents, Windows administrator accounts, email accounts, web browsers, and more.

Passware Kit Basic is a premium tool, but there is a demo version on offer that you can download for evaluation purposes. The tool is capable of recovering or resetting multiple password types quickly.

Some of the advanced recovery attacks used by Passware Kit Basic include Dictionary, Xieve, Brute-force, Known Password/Part, and more. The combined attack mode uses a combination of letters and numbers to crack the password.

The software comes with an intuitive user interface. After launching the tool, you will see multiple options. To recover the Excel file password, select the Recover File Password option.

Next, you need to select the password-locked Excel file, select the attack type, make changes to the attack types (optional) and click on Start. The recovery process may take some depending on the complexity of the password. You can stop, pause and resume the operation if required.

All the recovered passwords are saved in a separate file and can be reused to unlock encrypted documents.  To use Passware you don’t need any technical knowledge, it is fast, easy, and stable and most of the time can accurately recover the password for Excel documents.

Passware Kit Basic

Decrypt your Excel spreadsheets using this software designed for businesses and home offices alike.
Check price Visit Website

PassFab for Excel – Complex algorithms usage

This fast and reliable solution for unblocking Excel documents is created for anyone who needs to recover crucial files efficiently.

With this complete software is much easier to recover forgotten passwords of your Excel workbooks, and thus get back important business or personal data.

PassFab guarantees the recovery of blocked Excel files with a 100% success rate. You can decrypt protected sheets in a few moments by using complex algorithms for complicated symbols or characters in passwords.

Plus, you can be mind peace about your files because this tool can find out any password regardless of length or complexity.

Using verified recovering methods, you will regain access to read-only files or “can’t edit Excel” worksheets. More exactly, using dictionary attacks or different versions of Brute-Force attacks.

According to your password types, you will get back the Excel files using the mentioned techniques that help by trying all combinations of passwords in case you completely forgot them. Otherwise, you have another method if you know the range or length of the password.

You can thus retrieve multiple Excel files using this intelligent and automated method that will decrypt blocked files before you know it.

Passfab for Excel

Take back your worksheets in a fabulous manner with this smart password-recovering software.
Check price Visit Website

Dr.Excel – Easy to use

iSeePassword’s Dr.Excel is a password recovery program to recover locked Excel documents on your Windows PC. The software offers a trial-limited version of the tool, while the premium version will benefit you more.

Dr. Excel offers four types of attacks – Brute-force Attack, Mass Attack, Dictionary attack, and Smart Attack. There is a Batch Remove feature to remove spreadsheet and workbook protection.

Furthermore, users can customize and control the recovery process and its impact on system performance as well. If you go to Settings, you can change the number of CPUs the software can use along with enabling or disabling the GPU acceleration option.

You can also change the frequency of automatically saving the recovered password in a separate file.

Dr. Excel is compatible with all versions of Windows since Windows XP, however only supports MS Excel 2003-2016 file format. If you have a newer version, this may not be the right tool for you.

With a modern user interface, Dr. Excel has an intuitive UI. After launching the tool, click on Add File to add the password-locked Excel file to the dashboard. However, the drag-and-drop functionality doesn’t work.

Once the file is loaded, select the Attack Type you want to use. Begin with a dictionary attack and move on to other types if unsuccessful.

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To make the recovery process faster you can provide information related to your password such as length, range, lower- or upper-case letters, numerals, etc.

Click on the Start button to begin the recovery process. After the process ends, it shows a Congratulation screen with a recovered password on a dialogue box. You can copy the password to the clipboard and use it to unlock the Excel file.

Get Dr. Excel 

MS Excel Password Recovery Master – Straightforward app

If you have an older version of MS Excel from 97-2013, MS Excel Password Recovery Master can recover the password for your encrypted Excel file. It is also a premium tool and requires an installation to work.

It is a multi-lingual tool with support for English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian languages. The user interface is simple and easy to use. 

You can modify or remove passwords for the Excel workbook and worksheet plus VBA projects using the tool.

Unlike other password recovery tools, MS Excel Password Recovery Master doesn’t make it clear what attack type it uses to crack the password except for the word “Hi-Tech” on its website.

However, we believe the tool uses either dictionary or brute-force attack mode to crack the password.

Using the tool is a straightforward affair. After launching the program,  click the Open button and load your password-locked Excel file. Next, click on the Crack link beside password modification and removing options.

After the process is complete, MS Excel Password Recovery Master displays the recovered password on the same page.

Get MS Excel Password Recovery Master 

SmartKey Excel Password Recovery – Simple tool

The Excel Password Recovery software from Smartkey is a lightweight Windows-compatible utility that allows you to recover passwords for 2013, 2016, and even the 2019 versions of Excel. If you have an earlier version of Excel format, that should work with the tool as well.

The software can recover lost passwords for Excel workbooks as well as spreadsheets. For complicated passwords, you can use all the resources of the CPU and GPU to speed up the cracking process. Although, this feature is limited to Pro users only.

If you don’t want to install the software on your PC, SmartKey offers an online Excel password recovery service but again for Pro users only.

The user interface of the tool is simple and easy to use. To recover the password, launch the tool and click on Add button. Select the password-locked Excel file and open it.

Next, you need to select the Attack Type. There are three attack types, select Dictionary Attack type for a quick recovery. Check the GPU acceleration option to speed up the decryption process.

By clicking on Settings, you can download a third-party dictionary or add one from your PC. Click on the Start button to initiate the password-cracking process.

The recovered password is displayed on a pop-up window with an option to copy it to the clipboard. However, for demo users, the password will be hidden behind asterisks and ask you to upgrade to see the password.

Get SmartKey Office Password Recovery 

Remove Excel Password Manually using VBA Code

If you don’t want to use software to recover your Excel password, there is a workaround using VBA code to help you to cancel your original spreadsheet password and unlock the document.

Here are the steps you need to follow to remove the Excel password for any file manually.

  1. To use the VBA code, you need to enable the Developer option in MS Excel. If you have the Developer tab visible, you don’t need to follow these steps
  2. To enable Developer option, click on File and select Options.
  3. Next, select Customize Ribbon tab. Under the Main Tabs section, check the “Developer” option. Click OK to save the changes.
    Excel Enable Developer Option
  4. From the Excel window, click on Developer and select Visual Basic option.
    Excel Developer option
  5. In the new window, click Insert and select Module. Now copy/paste the following line of code in the Module window.

Sub PasswordRecovery()
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
Dim 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 "One usable 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

Click on the Start button (green) or press F5. If successful it will show a “One usage password is” message on a dialogue box.

Usable Password Excel Password remove

That’s it. You have successfully removed the Excel password without any software.

However, this method is only useful if you have put a password restriction on Excel to prevent modification and can open the file. If the Excel file is password encrypted and requires a password even to view it, this method won’t work.


So these are some of the best software to recover Microsoft Excel password-lock files. The success rate of password recovery depends on the MS Office version in use, the type of password, and of course the complexity of the password itself.

If you have a hard time remembering the password for all the accounts and files, let a password manager do this work for you so that you don’t have to remember any other password, ever again.

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