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Remove password

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Earlier versions of Excel had laughably weak password protection. Sheet protection (and similar components) gave instructions on creating a complex password. Meanwhile, Excel hashed whatever complex string of numerics, upper and lower case letters, and special characters you entered into a string of A's and B's with one additional character at the end. The length of the hash bore no relationship to the length of the "complex" password entered by the user. A 15 character password could end up as AABA#. Anyone who could write a little VBA could break those passwords by brute force attack in seconds. I did it myself one time when I forgot a password and could not locate my freeware tool, and I am no master of password cracking. That is, it was so simple that it was easier to write new code to unlock the workbook than to poke through my files to find the password identification software. Once identified, the hash was all that was required to unprotect the sheet and workbook elements. The VBA project password was harder and could not easily be discovered, but it could be removed pretty easily. Unlike the sheet/structure password bypass, removing the VBA project password leaves a tell that the project is changed, since it no longer has a password.

I had someone in my company who wanted me to protect a proprietary algorithm for a particular calculation in Excel. I told him that anyone who could open the workbook could unlock and examine his algorithm to their heart's content. The only way we could secure the algorithm against most attempts to view it was to password protect the workbook against opening, which would defeat the purpose of someone's being able to use the calculation. He needed a different system to secure the proprietary algorithm. Excel project and earlier password schemes were little more than TSA locks. It actually helps to know this kind of thing, as one can protect oneself and one's clients from being deceived by the appearance of security when none is actually present. It's a bit like Kryptonite bike locks from a decade or so ago that looked so secure, but could be opened with a Bic pen.
Hey, I have problem with an old .xls file. I found it on my HDD yesterday, and it has opening password. So I can't event use any visual basic code (even if I could programming in it... I didn't even use any macros). All I found in the Internet is either useless for this file, or I can't understand it. Probably it's not anything important, but I want to at least know what is in this file, just for sure (I have tendency to name files with acronyms). Is there any free option (I don't want to pay $19 just to know if I should delete the file or save it...) for n00b like me, to remove the password (because my passwords was usually whole sentences like "iD0nTreM3m83RpA$zVVorD", so brute-force will take years...)? It's just opening password for sure, I never used sheet passwords. Could someone help me?

I tried open it in 7zip, but the structure is weird, it's not .xml like I saw in the Internet. It's either from Excel 2003 or 2007, I don't remember which exactly, but I used just these 2 versions on that PC so it can't be any other version.
Like you, I moderate multiple boards/forums (five, actually). At none of them is any discussion of methods to bypass any security measure condoned. Other forums I participate in also have similar policies. See, for example:


This so called protections are not there to avoid stealing intellectual property, they are merely a deterrent for people trying to tamper the files are commonly used in a business or company.

For instance, recently a colleague left the company and he did a few updates several months back. Now we need to trace back the information and he of course doesn't "remember" the password nor the changes; he is not even obliged to tell anything cuz is not legally binding.

Now I need to check all the files to compare.

In other cases, there are files used for a decade and nobody has a password anymore, still we need to modify and adapt these macros.

sooooo again, go to another place to claim ur lame SJW crap and let the people be responsible by themselves

sooooo again, go to another place to claim ur lame SJW crap and let the people be responsible by themselves


Thankyou for your input.

You will be aware of forum rules that asks that we treat others with respect.

You are quite at liberty to express your opinion. But please do it a respectfull fashion in the future.

Another sample how to unlock a VBA module in Excel forum !​
Thanks for the heads up, Marc - that content has now been deleted. It was a thread imported from the original forum that had gone unnoticed - you must have worked very hard to find it. ;)
No as this post from 2011 moderators saw it once again without any reaction, but I'm very not surprised as this times​
almost every day I see within excelforum posts breaking rules - even after a moderator alert in posts -​
without any reaction, as I got an infraction just for asking a question without breaking any rule,​
so some moderators are bullies, others not, I do not bother and let them appreciate according to their will …​

Use this File for 64 Bit Version
I tried running the macros to unprotect an excel file that I lost the password to but I keep getting an error:
Run time error '53':
File not found: kernal 32

I am running on a Mac, maybe that's why? if so, any suggestions on how to get it working?
When i am trying to unprotect 64bit version of file, it's showing unprotected but excel getting crashed and unable to open coding of macro. Please help to understand. Thanks

As per attached 64
hi Abijit,

Here I am attaching the file which i tried to remove the password by using 64 bit version code.
Any update need to remove the password from a sheet prepared by ex-employee. Now we need to make changes but can't as he has protected few cell with password. Pls help
If the password is too complicated or too long, it is recommended to crack it instead of recovering it, because a complicated password will take a long time to recover, and the success rate is not high.
The password cannot be too complicated or too long.
It's recommend to use correct password - instead even plan to do something else.
Passwords are used for some reason - those are not meant to crack.
Okay,i got it.My Excel password was removed by me using a software at least twice,the reason is that I forgot the correct Excel password,if I want to open the Excel file again,i can only crack the password. Fortunately,i did it too,the data on Excel file has not been destroyed, which makes me very happy.
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I just wanted to say thanks for the the file. For those that disagree with posting this information on a forum, I see the dilemma, however let me explain my case...
An employee of the company was tasked with developing a spreadsheet to be used thru out our company. The effort was compensated by the individuals salary and the work was performed during normal working hours on a company computer.​
I reviewed the code (mind you I'm not too proficient at VBA), because I wanted to make sure it was well documented so I could understand the code should changes to the code be needed in the future. I provided instructions for a password to use on the code.​
Several years passed and the employee was let go. It came time to update the code only to find that the password used was not as instructed.​
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I looked at the 64 Bit version of the code and noticed that "Module3" was missing in the 64 Bit version. "Module3" has the "All_Internal_Passwords" code in it. "Module2" has the "Remove_VBA_Password", which is also not in the 64 Bit version.

I discovered this after reading David Lam's post asking how to use the 64 Bit version of the code as the "Guide" sheet was missing from the 64 Bit version. I simply copied the "GUIDE" sheet into the 64 Bit version.

As I'm not proficient with VBA...should the "All_Internal_Passwords" and "Remove_VBA_Password", code be in the 64 Bit Version?
The 64 bit version doesn't seem to do anything. First, there is no instructions like the 32 bit version and when you hit run, it does absolutely nothing. What am I doing wrong? Also I am trying to get into an old XLA file. Will this work?
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