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Step-by-Step Guide (with Images) to Encrypt and Recover Excel 2007/2013/2010/2016


Encrypting Excel file is a good way to protect others from opening or modifying it. This page shows you the detailed steps to make Excel encryption and restore it after you forget the password.

Encruypt Excel File

Encrypt and Recover Excel

Excel is a necessary officer helper to deal with data. When you deal with some sensitive financial or other confidential data, you may notice that, it seems not to be safe to put the important data in Excel without any encryption.

That is coming the point today: encrypt the Excel file.

In the following description, you will be directed to the step-by-step guide to learn how to put password on Excel file 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016, including the worksheet and workbook, and set the red only and modify access and restore the Excel file.

Note: Microsoft claims that It's not always secure to distribute password-protected files that contain sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

Part 1.
How to add and remove Excel encryption (the whole file cannot open)

This is the most common and recommended technique to lock an Excel file.

You will learn how to add the password on the whole Excel file, so that others cannot open it.

Applies to: Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007 and Excel 2016 for Mac

Step 1 Add password

Click File > Info > Protect Workbook > Encrypt with Password. Enter a password, and click OK.

Enter Password

Step 2 Open with password

When you/another user tries to open the file, the following screen appears:

Open with Password

Step 3 Remove Excel password

Open the Excel file, which will require the current password, go to File > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password. Delete the password and click OK.

Part 2.
How to encrypt Excel (only read or modify)

You are allowed to set the password in two types. One to open the file as read-only, and the other to modify.

Read-only access does not prevent someone from making changes to a file, but it does prevent them from saving those changes unless they rename the file and save it as something other than the original.

For users who need to be able to modify the file, you will have to share both open and modify passwords.

Applies to: Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007 and Excel 2016 for Mac

Step 1 In the Excel file, click File > Save As > Select the location. In the Save As dialog box, go to the folder you want to use, then click Tools and then click General Options.


Step 2 You can specify one or both passwords here, one to open the file, another to modify the file, depending on your requirements.


Step 3 Simply delete the password you set in the General Options box. Delete the password and click OK.

Delete Password

Part 3.
How to protect Excel worksheet and workbook (Control accesses for worksheet)

To prevent other users from viewing hidden worksheets, adding, moving, deleting, or hiding worksheets, and renaming worksheets, you can protect the structure of your Excel workbook with a password.

Applies to: Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2016 for Mac and Excel for Mac 2011

Step 1 Click Review > Protect Workbook or Protect Worksheet.

Click the Windows option (Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel for Mac 2011, and Excel 2016 for Mac).

encrypt the worksheet

Step 2 Enter the password and click "OK".

If you want to encrypt the worksheet, then you are able to select the elements by checking the "Allow users of this sheet to" list.

Modify the worksheet

Step 3 To remove a password, click Unprotect Sheet or Protect Workbook and enter the password.

Part 4.
How to restore the deleted or lost encrypted Excel file (including de-encrypt)

"I accidentally deleted my password-protected Excel file. Now I cannot find it in the trash bin. Is there any way to recover it? By the way, the password I set is forfot."


You can recover the deleted or lost encrypted Excel file. Firstly, and then remove the password of the file.

How to recover the encrypted Excel file?

For Excel file recovery, you need the professional Excel file data recovery, Data Recovery. It effectively help to scan and find your lost Excel file in Windows 10/8/7.

Data Recovery

Just free download, install and run this software on your computer.

Step 1 Run it on your computer, choose Document, select the location of the lost or deleted Excel file, and click Scan.

Scan document

Step 2 Data Recovery will take a quick scan to find the deleted Excel files. Click Document > XLS or XLSX to view the Excel files.

Step 3 Checkmark the Excel files, and click Recover to start to extract the lost Excel files to your computer.

Scan document

After you find the lost encrypted Excel file, you could start to remove the password.

How to remove encryption in Excel via VBA code?

Step 1 Open the Excel file, press Alt + F11 to open VBA window, click the sheet you need to unlock from the menu listing on the left, and click Insert and select Module.


Step 2 Open General window and enter the VBA code.

VBA Code

Command line:

Sub PasswordBreaker()

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

Step 3 Click Run button or F5 key to run it. Then click OK when a small box pops up and close the VBA window, you will find your Excel password.

De-encrypt by VBA

Then you can find your encrypted password for the Excel.


This page focuses on the Excel file encryption and recovery. Protecting your data in the Excel file can be as easy as you can follow in this guide.

Now, it is your turn to encrypt your Excel file and restore it easily by yourself.

Do not hesitate to leave your comments below if you have any questions.

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April 20, 2018 10:30 / Updated by to File Recovery