How To

How to Unlock Microsoft Excel in 3 Steps

Shaun M Jooste


Microsoft Excel is a giant in the industry when it comes to storing, manipulating, and presenting data on your Windows or Mac computer. There may be some cases where the data you are working with is confidential, such as financials, password logs, personal details, and more.

As such you may need to apply more security by locking Excel spreadsheets that contain sensitive information. However once the spreadsheet has been protected, how do you unlock it when you need to work on the file? Let’s look at how you can unlock a Microsoft Excel protected worksheet.

  1. Open the Spreadsheet

    How to Unlock Microsoft Excel

    First off, you will need to open the spreadsheet that you need to work on. You can do this by double-clicking on the file on your computer, or by opening the file directly from Excel.

  2. Unprotect Sheet

    How to Unlock Microsoft Excel

    Protected worksheets display a padlock icon next to the tab name in the bottom control panel of Excel. Right-click on the sheet with the padlock to open the context menu with further options. Similarly, if certain cells or ranges of data have been locked they will also show a padlock when hovering over the cells.

    In the context menu that appears in the top ribbon of Excel, click on ‘Unprotect Sheet’. If no password was set the file will open automatically. If there was a password set for added protection, move to the next step.

  3. Insert Password

    How to Unlock Microsoft Excel

    If the worksheet is protected with a password, a window will pop up asking you to input the password. Type in the password and click on ‘Ok’. If the password is correct, the protected worksheet will open.

    Be aware that users can protect whole worksheets or even just certain cells or ranges of data within a spreadsheet, but the method of unlocking remains the same.

Keep Sensitive Information Safe, Secure, and Well Protected in Excel

Microsoft Excel makes it easy to keep your confidential information protected by providing options to lock worksheets with passwords. Unlocking is a simple process if you have the right permissions or password on hand.

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