Break Excel password?
July 26, 2006 4:23 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to break/uncover/crack/hack an Excel spreadsheet password?

I have a spreadsheet that has been handed around about a thousand times and it does some really interesting things I've never seen done with Excel before. I'd like to nose around in the guts (i.e. macros, hidden cells/sheets, etc) of this sheet but it is "protected" with a password.

Is there any way to find this password or break the protection with a program (preferably freeware/shareware/cheapware) or otherwise? I'm not snooping into anyone's financial data or anything, cross my heart. It's a baseball statistics spreadsheet.
I'd be happy to share with anyone who's a baseball statistics/betting nerd like I am particularly if he/she might be able to break it!
posted by jckll to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just Google for Excel Password, and you'll find several freeware programs to do just that.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 4:27 PM on July 26, 2006

I went through this recently. If the password is "worksheet-level." most of these programs should work. "Workbook-level," not so much. Good luck.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 4:41 PM on July 26, 2006

There's a great (shareware I think) Excel plugin I've used that can unhide & unpassword hidden & passworded worksheets. As SSF said though, it only works if you can open the Excel file - it won't crack the password if you need a p/w to open the file in the first place. I can't remember what it's called and can't find the link via Google, but I have it bookmarked at work and will post a link in a day or two (I'm off sick at the moment) if no-one else comes up with anything.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:52 PM on July 26, 2006

Try Googling for excel password elcomsoft.
posted by flabdablet at 5:16 PM on July 26, 2006

Post the URL and I will post the password. I have a commercial password recovery app that works fairly well.
posted by SirStan at 6:23 PM on July 26, 2006

Response by poster: link

Many of the things I want to find out are contained in macros, and while those programs mentioned above may or may not work to break the "protect sheet" and "protect workbook" functions of Excel they can't get me into protected macros as far as I can tell......
posted by jckll at 7:40 PM on July 26, 2006

Detected MS Excel 2000/97 document
Detected Visual Basic project

Workbook password: no password is set
Workbook sharing password: no password is set
Sheet 1 password: [XFMLNHWTTGNRFWY] (no brackets)
File-Open password: no password is set

Creating backup copy:
C:\Documents and Settings\NGC\Desktop\2006Baseball.bak

Updating security...
VBA Project password: [3AE5] (no brackets)
posted by tiamat at 8:51 PM on July 26, 2006

Hmm...that password for the sheet seems to work, but the VBA Project password isn't working for me.
posted by inigo2 at 6:33 AM on July 27, 2006

Just go to this site.

posted by jonshadow at 1:37 PM on July 27, 2006

(Sorry for the formatting)
From that site:

There is four different elements in an Excel spreadsheet than can be protected with passwords:

1. Worksheets – a worksheet can be protected by clicking Tools->Protect->Protect Sheet.

2. Workbook – a workbook can be protected by clicking Tools->Protect->Protect Workbook.

3. File – the Excel file can be protected by clicking File->Save As->Tools->General Options (this method differs slightly according to Excel version)

4. VBA – the VBA project can be protected by clicking (from within the VBE) Tools->VBAProject Properties->Protection

This add-in will remove the first two types (i.e. worksheets and workbook) of password.

So this can't get the password for the macros...
posted by inigo2 at 9:20 AM on July 28, 2006

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