One-on-One Professional Business Training Articles

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

How To Unprotect Excel Spreadsheet

E-mail Print PDF

How To Unprotect Excel Spreadsheet

By Chris Le Roy


Sometimes you will find yourself in a position where you actually need to modify an Excel Spreadsheet that was created by somebody else.  You can easily modify a spreadsheet as long as a number of conditions are true.

The first condition is that the workbook does not have a password on it or if it does you need to know the password and secondly, does the worksheet itself require a password.  If the excel workbooks do have passwords you will need to find out those before you will be able to unprotect the spreadsheet.

The first step in unprotecting an Excel Spreadsheet is to open the spreadsheet. When you open the spreadsheet if it has a password on it you will be presented with the following dialog box -

Simply type in the required password and press the OK button.  The first password you were asked for was simply to give you permission to open the workbook in Read Only mode.  If the user has set a password on the ability to write to the file you will then be presented with the dialog box below.

One of the downsizes to the Excel spreadsheet is that the password for Opening the file may not necessarily be the same for being able to modify the file. If you did not know the second password, you would only be able to work on the file in Read Only mode as in the diagram above.

The other issue is that if you do not have the password for write access then you will not be able to unprotect the excel spreadsheet.

To remove protection to the spreadsheet, you must now choose the Tools menu and the Options from the drop down menu and the Options dialog box will appear. Simply choose the Security tab in the Options dialog box. A diagram of the Options dialog box is shown below.

To remove the passwords to open the workbook or modify it, simply delete the passwords shown in the dialog box above and press the OK button.

There is yet another password that can be applied to protect the structure of the workbook, which includes items like the number of worksheets in the actual spreadsheet.  You access this section by going to the Tools menu and the choosing Protection from the drop down menu and then Protect Workbook.

If your workbook is protected, the Protection menu will say Unprotect Workbook as shown in the diagram below.

To unprotect the workbook simply choose Unprotect Workbook from the Protection drop down menu and then enter your password into the Protect Workbook dialog box.  You will now modify your workbook including adding worksheets to your spreadsheet.

If you need further help in learning to use Microsoft Excel then contact our team as we offer Microsoft Excel Courses to help you learn Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Excel 2007 and Microsoft Excel 2010. 

Last Updated on Monday, 25 April 2011 19:44  

Do You Need More QUALIFIED LEADS? Would A CUSTOMIZED Roadmap Help? Get Yours NOW!