How to Unprotect a Microsoft Excel Document

Microsoft Excel allows users to protect the data contained in their spreadsheets from being changed or deleted by others who view or share the file. Excel’s protection can be customized to meet individual needs by protecting an entire workbook, one spreadsheet or individual cells in the file. A simple set of commands unprotects the file to allow editing by others, or you can apply a password to prevent others from accessing the file’s contents.

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Sheets can be protected and unprotected from the Excel menu.

Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013

Step

Click the "File" tab and click "Open." Navigate to the file you want to unprotect, select the file and click "Open."

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Open the spreadsheet.
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Unprotect the sheet.

Step

Select the “Review” tab on the ribbon at the top of the screen, and click “Unprotect Sheet” from the Review menu.

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Enter the password.

Step

Enter the file’s password if prompted to do so.

Microsoft Excel 2003

Step

Click “File” on the toolbar and then select “Open.” Navigate to folder that contains the protected spreadsheet. Select the file and click “Open.”

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Open the spreadsheet.
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Unprotect the sheet.

Step

Select the “Tools” drop-down menu, select “Protection” and choose “Unprotect Worksheet."

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Enter the password.

Step

Enter the file’s password if prompted to do so.