How to Remove a Password from an Excel Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Removing a password from an Excel Workbook can sometimes be necessary, especially if you’ve forgotten it or no longer need to keep the workbook protected. It’s a simple process that involves accessing the workbook’s info settings and changing the protection features. After reading this, you’ll know exactly how to make your Excel Workbook password-free.

Step by Step Tutorial for How to Remove a Password from an Excel Workbook

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve here. Removing a password from an Excel Workbook means that you no longer need to enter a password to open or edit the workbook. Follow these steps to remove password protection from your Excel file.

Step 1: Open the Excel Workbook

Open the Excel Workbook from which you want to remove the password.

Once you’ve opened the workbook, ensure it’s the correct file you want to alter. Remember, once you remove the password, anyone with access to the workbook can open and modify it.

Step 2: Click on ‘File’

Click on the ‘File’ button located on the top-left corner of the Excel screen.

Clicking ‘File’ will take you to the backstage view where you can see various options related to the workbook’s settings and properties.

Step 3: Go to ‘Info’

From the menu that appears, select ‘Info.’

Under ‘Info,’ you’ll find settings related to the workbook’s protection, including the option to remove the workbook’s password.

Step 4: Click on ‘Protect Workbook’

Click on the ‘Protect Workbook’ button.

The ‘Protect Workbook’ button will display a dropdown menu. Here, you’ll find various options related to workbook protection.

Step 5: Select ‘Encrypt with Password’

From the dropdown menu, select ‘Encrypt with Password.’

By selecting ‘Encrypt with Password,’ you’ll be able to access the settings where you can modify or remove the current password.

Step 6: Delete the Password

In the ‘Encrypt Document’ dialog box that appears, delete the password from the password field and click ‘OK.’

After deleting the password, make sure to save your workbook so that the changes take effect.

After completing these steps, your Excel Workbook will no longer require a password to open or edit. This will make it easier for you to access your workbook quickly and share it with others without the need for password protection.

Tips for How to Remove a Password from an Excel Workbook

  • Always remember to save the workbook after removing the password to ensure the changes are applied.
  • If you’re removing the workbook’s password for others to access, ensure that the information inside is not sensitive or confidential.
  • Keep a backup of the password-protected version somewhere safe, just in case you need to revert back to a protected state.
  • Removing the password does not delete any data within the workbook; it just removes the protection layer.
  • Be aware that once the password is removed, anyone with access to the workbook can view and edit the contents.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’ve forgotten the password?

Unfortunately, if you’ve forgotten the password, there’s no straightforward way to remove it. You may need to use specialized password recovery software.

Can I remove the password from an Excel Workbook without opening it?

No, you must open the workbook to access the ‘Info’ and ‘Protect Workbook’ settings where you can remove the password.

Will removing the password affect the contents of the Excel Workbook?

No, removing the password only affects the workbook’s protection status and does not alter the data within it.

Can I remove a password from a read-only Excel Workbook?

If the workbook is read-only because of a password, you’ll need to enter the password first to change its status before you can remove it.

What version of Excel do these steps apply to?

These steps apply to most recent versions of Excel, including Excel 2016, Excel 2019, and Excel for Microsoft 365.


  1. Open the Excel Workbook.
  2. Click on ‘File.’
  3. Go to ‘Info.’
  4. Click on ‘Protect Workbook.’
  5. Select ‘Encrypt with Password.’
  6. Delete the Password.


There you have it, a straightforward guide on how to remove a password from an Excel Workbook. Whether you’re tidying up old files, making your workbook more accessible, or simply forgot the password, these steps should help you achieve a password-free workbook. Always remember to handle your Excel workbooks responsibly, especially when it comes to sensitive data. Removing a password can be a relief in terms of accessibility, but it also means your data is less secure. So, weigh your options and act wisely.

If you ever need to add a password back to your Excel Workbook, the process is just as simple. Head back to the ‘Protect Workbook’ menu and choose to encrypt with a password again. Happy data managing!