You cannot open a password-protected workbook if you forget or lose the password

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Article ID: 292264 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q292264
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When you protect a Microsoft Excel workbook or a worksheet with a password, you cannot open the document without entering the password.

If you forget or lose the password, you are unable to access the data in the document.


This behavior occurs because the password that is used to protect an Excel worksheet or workbook is not recoverable. If the password is lost, there is no way to open the document.


There is no way to open a password-protected workbook other than by using the password with which it is protected. This behavior was designed to ensure the privacy of the program user.

For more information about password-protected files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
189126 Microsoft policy regarding missing or incorrect passwords


Article ID: 292264 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 3.2
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 98 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel X for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
kbprb KB292264

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