What to Do if You Forgot Excel Passwords

You set a password for protecting an important Excel workbook and thought you kept the password in your head. However, a few hours or some days later when you open the workbook again, messes happen: you find out that you already forget the exact password. You try entering different letters, numbers and symbols but Excel keeps telling you that “The password you supplied is not correct”, like this:

Microsoft Excel Supplied Password Incorrect

Well, this is very sad especially if the file is important.

To handle this, you first need to know that the Microsoft company is unable to recover Excel passwords for you but yourself. Follow the advice below, if the memories about the password still cannot come back to you, you can try to unlock the workbook by using an Excel password remover like Passper for Excel.

When we say recover Excel passwords, it often refers to “Excel opening passwords”. The password that is set to restrict Excel editing instead of opening cannot be recovered, but it can be easily removed in a single second. Jump to this part of the page to know more details.

Some Suggestions for You to Find or Remember the Forgotten Excel Password

  • Did you write the password down on a slip of paper or a digital document?

Some people would note down the password before they set it. Then they forgot that they had done this before. So, you can check out the papers on your desk, also your commonly used note-taking apps and websites.

  • Ensure correct capitalization and letters.

Excel passwords are case sensitive. You can type the password on a document to ensure that the password you enter is exactly the same as what you think it will be. If you wrote the Excel password on paper, pay attention to the letters and numbers that look alike, such as uppercase i and lowercase L.

  • Recreate the movements or take a rest. Stay chill.

To better recall things that happen recently, we can try to recreate the movements, same place, same position. If you feel tired, just take a rest. Maybe this can help to recall the Excel password that you have forgotten.

Recover Forgotten Excel Passwords with Passper for Excel

Using specific tools will greatly increase your probability of retrieving passwords. Here we will use Passper for Excel as an example. It was specially designed to recover Excel opening passwords and remove Excel editing restrictions.

Your privacy is 100% safe with this tool. Only when running “Dictionary Attack”, it needs an internet connection to download the latest dictionary file to your computer. Once done, it can run without a network. No personal document will be uploaded to their servers.

Here’s the download button for the free trial.
Free Download

* This product is for Windows only. If you are using Excel for Mac, you can transfer the workbook from Mac to Windows for cracking.

Recover Excel Opening Password

Step 1. Choose “Recover Passwords”

Launch Passper for Excel. there are two sections on its main interface. To recover Excel opening passwords, click on the first block – “Recover Passwords”.

Click Recover Passwords on Passper for Excel

Step 2. Select the Excel File

Click on ⊕ to select the Excel file with an opening password. If you locate the wrong one, click on ⓧ to cancel and choose again.

Select the Excel File to Recover Password

Step 3. Choose a Recovery Method and Click on “Recover”

You can see that there are four recovery modes.

Option 1: Combination Attack

If you are sure that your password contains certain characters, choose this method. It lets you tick/input information about password length, prefix & suffix, lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Passper for Excel Combination Attack

Option 2: Dictionary Attack

Every year there will be “most common passwords” statistics made by digital security companies or organizations. Passwords such as “123456”, “111111”, “password”, “p@ssword” are often on the lists. This is basically what Dictionary Attack means. Passper for Excel provides an inbuilt dictionary – a long long list of over 15,000,000 passwords that starts with the most frequently used ones. It also allows you to import dictionary files that are downloaded from the Internet.

Use Dictionary Attack to Recover Forgotten Excel Password

Option 3: Mask Attack

Mask Attack lets you tick/input information about password length, the character types NOT included in the password, the prefix and suffix, and the characters that may be included. If you have a vague impression of the Excel password, you can try this.

Option 4: Brute Force Attack

If your password is long, complex, and completely random with no meaning, Brute Force Attack isn’t much use. A password that randomly mixes letters, numbers, and characters like 8*ETu^ may take decades to crack on a normal personal computer.

Step 4. Waiting for the Process to Recover

After completing the settings and clicking on the “Recover” button, the program will start running the cracking process. During this time you can pause it or shut down the computer and then continue running at any time later, the recovery progress will not be lost.

Recovering Excel Password with Passper for Excel

Remove Excel Editing Restrictions in One Second

Excel editing restrictions password is the optional one you set for protecting sheets or workbook structure. Passper for Excel is able to remove this kind of password with a 100% success rate. Please note that it just removes the restrictions. It will not retrieve the password you set.

Step 1. Choose “Remove Restrictions”

Launch the program. On its main interface, choose “Remove Restrictions”.

Step 2. Select the Excel File

Select the Excel file that you want to remove restrictions, and click on “Remove”. All the editing restrictions will be removed instantly.

Remove Excel Editing Restrictions with Passper for Excel


Passper for Excel is one of the best tools to recover the forgotten Excel opening passwords. But you need to know that it cannot guarantee success because the algorithm of Excel password protection has been greatly improved. The role of a complex password is to make it almost impossible to crack with brute force in a reasonable time. But if the file is really important to you and you have forgotten the password, it is still worth trying.
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Susanna is the content manager and writer of Filelem. She has been an experienced editor and book layout designer for many years, and interested in trying and testing various productivity software. She is also a huge fan of Kindle, who has been using Kindle Touch for nearly 7 years and carrying Kindle almost wherever she goes. Not long ago the device was at the end of its life so Susanna happily bought a Kindle Oasis.

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