How to Remove Passwords from Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing a password from an Excel file can be a handy trick to know, especially if you’ve inherited a document from someone else or have simply forgotten the password you set. To do this, you’ll need to access the ‘Info’ section under the ‘File’ tab, select ‘Protect Workbook’, and then choose ‘Encrypt with Password’. Clearing out the password field and hitting ‘OK’ will remove the password protection from your Excel file.

After completing this action, the Excel file will no longer require a password to open or modify. This means that you, and anyone else who has access to the file, will be able to open it without any restrictions.


Have you ever been locked out of an Excel document because of a forgotten password? Or perhaps you’re handling sensitive data that you no longer need to keep under lock and key. Whatever the reason, there comes a time when removing a password from an Excel file is necessary.

Password protection is a critical feature in Excel, allowing users to keep their data secure and control who has access to sensitive information. In a world where data breaches are all too common, password protection provides peace of mind. But what happens when that security measure becomes a barrier to productivity? Whether you’re a business owner managing multiple reports, an employee tasked with updating a company spreadsheet, or a student organizing research data, knowing how to remove a password from an Excel file can save time and frustration.

Related: How to Add Developer Tab in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step by Step Tutorial: Removing Passwords from Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’ll achieve. We’re aiming to remove the password protection from an Excel file, enabling unrestricted access to the document.

Step 1: Open the Excel file

Open the Excel file that you wish to remove the password from.

When you open the Excel file, you’ll be prompted to enter the password if it’s protected. Once you enter the correct password, you’ll have access to the file and can proceed with the following steps.

Step 2: Access the ‘Info’ section

Click on the ‘File’ tab in the ribbon and select ‘Info’.

The ‘Info’ section provides various options for safeguarding your document, including permissions and preparing the file for sharing.

Step 3: Select ‘Protect Workbook’

Under the ‘Info’ section, find and select ‘Protect Workbook’.

‘Protect Workbook’ is the feature that allows you to set or remove password protection on your Excel file.

Step 4: Choose ‘Encrypt with Password’

Click on ‘Encrypt with Password’ from the dropdown menu.

This option lets you set a new password or modify the existing one.

Step 5: Clear the Password Field

Delete any text in the password field that appears in the dialog box.

Clearing the text from this field effectively removes the password from your Excel file.

Step 6: Save the Changes

Click ‘OK’, and then save your document to apply the changes.

Saving the document is crucial as it updates the file with the new settings, ensuring it no longer requires a password.


AccessibilityRemoving the password from an Excel file increases accessibility. It allows easier collaboration and sharing, as users no longer need to remember or communicate passwords to access the document.
Time-EfficientIt saves time, especially in a collaborative environment where multiple individuals need access to the document. No more time wasted on password recovery processes or waiting for the password from a colleague.
FlexibilityProvides flexibility for file management. You can quickly alter the protection settings based on the current need for security, making it easier to adapt to changing circumstances.


Security RiskRemoving a password can lead to a potential security risk. Sensitive data can become vulnerable to unauthorized access, which could result in data theft or manipulation.
Accidental ChangesWithout a password, there is a higher risk of accidental changes or deletions by users, which could corrupt the integrity of the data.
Loss of ControlYou lose a certain level of control over the document. Once the password is removed, tracking who accesses or modifies the file becomes challenging.

Additional Information

When removing passwords from Excel files, it’s important to consider the implications it may have on data security and integrity. Always ensure that the file no longer contains sensitive information that requires protection before removing the password. Additionally, create backups of your Excel files before making any changes to the security settings. This way, you have a fallback in case anything goes awry.

Another tip is to use strong, unique passwords when you do decide to protect your Excel files. This makes it harder for unauthorized individuals to guess the password and gain access to your data. Furthermore, keep a secure record of your passwords to avoid getting locked out of your files.

Remember, removing a password from an Excel file should be done cautiously and with the consideration of potential risks and consequences. Only proceed if you’re confident that the file no longer needs to be protected.


  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Click on the ‘File’ tab and select ‘Info’.
  3. Choose ‘Protect Workbook’.
  4. Click on ‘Encrypt with Password’.
  5. Clear the password field.
  6. Save the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I forget the password to my Excel file?

If you forget the password, you will not be able to remove it using the standard method. You may need to use a password recovery tool or service.

Can I remove the password from an Excel file without opening the file?

No, you must open the file with the correct password before you can remove the password protection.

Will removing the password affect the data in the Excel file?

No, removing the password will not affect the data. It only changes the file’s access restrictions.

Can I reapply the password protection after removing it?

Yes, you can reapply password protection by following the same steps and adding a new password.

Is it possible to remove the password from multiple Excel files at once?

No, each Excel file’s password must be removed individually.


In conclusion, removing passwords from Excel files is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance accessibility and efficiency. However, it comes with the caveat of potentially compromising the security of your data. Always ensure that the decision to remove a password is well-considered and that appropriate measures are taken to safeguard sensitive information.

Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or new to data management, mastering this skill can prove invaluable in your personal and professional endeavors. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility – handle your Excel passwords with care!