How to Remove Encryption from Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Removing encryption from an Excel file is a straightforward process that involves unlocking the file by disabling its password protection. Follow these simple steps to remove encryption and gain unrestricted access to your Excel document. Ensure you have the password for the encrypted file before proceeding.

How to Remove Encryption from Excel

By following these steps, you will be able to unlock an encrypted Excel file and remove its password protection. This will allow you to access, edit, and share the file without any restrictions.

Step 1: Open the Encrypted File

Open Excel and select the encrypted file you wish to unlock.

When you open the encrypted file, Excel will prompt you to enter the password. Enter the password correctly to gain access to the document.

Step 2: Access the File Menu

Once the file is open, click on the "File" tab in the top menu bar.

This will take you to the Backstage view, where you can access various file options and settings.

Step 3: Select "Info" and then "Protect Workbook"

In the Backstage view, select "Info" on the left-hand side, then click on "Protect Workbook."

This will reveal a dropdown menu with various protection options.

Step 4: Choose "Encrypt with Password"

From the dropdown menu, select "Encrypt with Password."

This option will open a dialog box where you can manage the encryption settings.

Step 5: Remove the Password

Delete the existing password in the dialog box and click "OK."

By removing the password and confirming the change, you effectively remove the encryption from the file.

Once these steps are complete, your Excel file will no longer be encrypted, and you won’t be prompted to enter a password when opening it in the future.

Tips for Removing Encryption from Excel

  • Remember the Password: Always ensure you have the correct password before attempting to remove encryption.
  • Backup Your File: Make a copy of the encrypted file before making changes, in case something goes wrong.
  • Update Security: If the file contains sensitive data, consider other security measures after removing encryption.
  • Check Permissions: Ensure you have the necessary permissions to edit and remove encryption from the file.
  • Use Encryption Wisely: Only encrypt files that truly need protection to avoid unnecessary complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I forget the password?

If you forget the password, you won’t be able to open or remove encryption from the Excel file.

Can I remove encryption from a file without opening it?

No, you need to open the file (with the correct password) to remove encryption.

Is it safe to remove encryption from an Excel file?

Yes, but ensure the file doesn’t contain sensitive information that still needs protection.

Can I re-encrypt the file after removing encryption?

Yes, you can always add a new password to encrypt the file again later.

What versions of Excel support these steps?

These steps are applicable to most modern versions of Excel, including Office 365, Excel 2019, and Excel 2016.


  1. Step 1: Open the encrypted file.
  2. Step 2: Access the File menu.
  3. Step 3: Select "Info" and then "Protect Workbook."
  4. Step 4: Choose "Encrypt with Password."
  5. Step 5: Remove the password.


Removing encryption from an Excel file is a simple yet powerful way to unlock your data and make it readily accessible for editing and sharing. Just remember to use this feature responsibly, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected when necessary. If you frequently work with sensitive Excel files, exploring other security options like file permissions or restricted access can be a good idea.

For further reading, consider exploring Excel’s other security features, such as protecting sheets or workbooks individually. This will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how to keep your data secure without the need for full encryption. Happy spreadsheeting!

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