Unprotect Excel Workbook

Unprotect Workbook in Excel

Once the report is finalized, we will share the workbook with the concerned team or personnel. Often times, we just need them to read the report without doing any modification to the existing report. So, in order to prevent readers from tampering with the data, we should allow them to alter anything in the workbook. There are two ways of protecting the workbook in excel, and in our earlier article “Protect Workbook in ExcelProtect Workbook In ExcelExcel workbooks can be protected in order to protect the entire workbook rather than a single sheet. If a workbook is password-protected, no other user can insert a new sheet, delete any sheet, or view the hidden sheets.read more,” we have seen how to protect the workbook in those two ways. Below are the steps to protect and unprotect the workbook in excel in brief.


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Excel Workbook Protection at File Level

In this method, we are protecting the entire workbook from opening and editing the content of the workbook.

The option of Protect Workbook is a built-in tool in excel. This is available under the REVIEW tab in excel.

Excel Protect Workbook 1

To protect the workbook, below are the steps.

  1. First, we need to open the excel workbook that we need to protect.

  2. Then go to the REVIEW tab and click on the PROTECT WORKBOOK option.

  3. Now, we can see the below option, which asks for a password to be entered to protect. In the below Protect Structure and Windows window, enter the password as per our choice.

    Excel Protect Workbook 1-1

  4. Click on OK. In the next window, we need to re-enter the same password as we have entered in the previous step.

    Excel Protect Workbook 1-2
    Click on Ok. It will protect the workbook at the file level.

Excel Workbook Protection at Workbook Level

We have seen how to protect the workbook at the file level in the previous step. In this method, we can protect the workbook at the workbook level, which will prevent a user from opening it when you are not around with your computer.

Using this method, we restrict the user from peeping into the workbook. Follow the below steps to protect the workbook at the workbook level.

Step 1: Go to the File option, which is the first one in the ribbon.

Once we click on the FILE option, we will see the Protect Workbook option on the right-hand side, as shown in the below image.

Excel Protect Workbook 2

Step 2: In the Protect Workbook option, click on the drop-down list in excelDrop-down List In ExcelA drop-down list in excel is a pre-defined list of inputs that allows users to select an option.read more to see the options of “Protect Workbook” in the list, select “Encrypt with Password.”

Excel Protect Workbook 2-1

Step 3: Now, we will see the “Encrypt Document” window. In this, enter the password as per our wish and click on the OK button.

Excel Protect Workbook 2-2

Step 4: Now, in the next window, we will see the window which asks us to re-enter the password as we entered in the previous step.

Excel Protect Workbook 2-3

One thing is we need to remember the password that we have entered.

Once you have re-entered the password save and close the workbook, all the changes that we made will apply to the workbook.

Next time when we need to open the workbook, it will ask us to enter the password.

Excel Protect Workbook 2-4

Unprotect Excel Workbook

Once the workbook is protected with a password, to unprotect, we need to remember the exact password that we have entered while protecting the workbook. Follow the below steps to unprotect the protected workbook in excel.

Step 1: Open the desired workbook.

Step 2: While opening, it will ask you to enter the password.

Method 1

Step 3: Enter the password that you had given while protecting it.

Method 1-1

Step 4: Click on OK. It will open the workbook.

Step 5: To unprotect, click on FILE. You will see the “Protect Workbook” option.

Method 1-2

As we can see just below the “Protect Workbook” option, it says, “A Password is required to open this workbook.”

Step 6: Click on the drop-down list, and choose Encrypt with Password.”

Method 1-3

Step 7: Now, we will see the below window.

Method 1-5

We can see the password with black dots, so to unprotect the workbook, delete the password and click on OK.

Method 1-6

Now the excel workbook is unprotected and no longer has it required the password to open it.

Things to Remember

  • Password is mandatory to open the workbook if it is protected with a password.
  • But for unprotecting the workbook password is not required. We can just delete the password and unprotect the workbook.
  • Protect Workbook and Protect Worksheet; both are different from each other.

This has been a guide to Unprotect Workbook in Excel. Here we learn how to unprotect the excel workbook along with methods and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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