Excel is one of the most widely used software in the world. It is a part of Microsoft Office that helps to manage, display and analyze data in a tabular format. However, if you have forgotten the password of your Excel 2010 file, it can be a major issue. In this article, we will discuss various methods to open Excel 2010 file which has been password protected.

Method 1: Excel Built-in Functionality

Excel 2010 has a built-in functionality that allows users to password-protect their workbooks or sheets. If you have used this functionality to protect your Excel file, then there is an easy way to remove the password without using any third-party tool. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Open the protected Excel file that you want to remove the password from.
  2. Click on the File menu and select Info.
  3. Click on the Protect Workbook button and select Encrypt with Password.
  4. Delete the password from the text box and click OK.
  5. Save the file and close it.

Now, when you open the file again, it will not ask for any password.

Method 2: VBA Code (Visual Basic for Applications)

If you have used the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code to password-protect your Excel file, then you will need to use another VBA code to remove the password. Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Open the Excel file that is password protected.
  2. Hold down the Alt + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.
  3. Click on Insert and select Module.
  4. Enter the following code in the Module window:

    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
    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

  5. Press F5 or Run to execute the code.
  6. The password will be cracked, and a usable password will be displayed.
  7. Enter the password and click on OK.
  8. The password protection will be removed, and you can now view and edit the file.

Method 3: Using Third-Party Software

If the above-given methods do not work for you, then you can use third-party software to unlock your password-protected Excel 2010 file. Here are some of the popular software:


  • Passper for Excel
  • Excel Password Recovery Master
  • Excel Password Unlocker

These software are easy to use and provide a quick solution to unlock your Excel file. However, they are not free, and you will need to purchase a license to use them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What should I do if I have lost my password for the Excel file?

A. If you have lost your password for the Excel file, then you can try using the above-given methods to unlock it. However, if none of the methods work, then the file is probably irrecoverable. It is always recommended to keep a backup of your important files to avoid such situations.

Q. Can I password-protect only a part of the Excel file?

A. Yes, you can password-protect only a part of the Excel file, such as a sheet or a range of cells. To do so, select the cells or the sheet that you want to protect, and then click on the Review tab. Click on the Protect Sheet or Protect Workbook option and set the password as per your requirement.

Video Tutorial

Here is a YouTube video tutorial that shows how to remove password protection from a password-protected Excel file:

In conclusion, forgetting the password for your Excel 2010 file can be a frustrating experience, but there are various methods to unlock it. You can try using the built-in functionality of Excel, VBA code or third-party software to remove the password protection from your file. Always remember to keep a backup of your important files to avoid such situations in the future.