Locked out of Excel File

Posted on 2012-03-15
Last Modified: 2012-03-23
Hi All,

I am in a bit of a delema here.  We have 3 Excel files that have been password protected so we can't open them.  The issue we have is they were locked by an old employee at least 2 years ago.  We have no way of contacting this old employee and no one knows the passwords to these files.  

I have been able to determine that the possible protection is: MS Excel 97-2003 - Open Password, VBA Project - 40bit RC4 Encryption

Is it possible to get into these files? I don't want to buy one of the programs online that say they can do it without actually seeing it work.  I also can't send the files anywhere to get it done as they have financial info in them.  

Any idea's or suggestions would be great.
Question by:Christian Couture
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Accepted Solution

micropc1 earned 250 total points
ID: 37725450
I think this may be what you need...and its free.

Assisted Solution

Aeriden earned 250 total points
ID: 37725457
What version of Excel? New versions use really strong encryption and thus a password recovery program is really needed to try an brute force recovery.

However, check out  It may need suit  your needs.

Often times using a 3rd party service won't compromise the financial information - you could get legally binding Confidentiality Agreements with them.

Author Comment

by:Christian Couture
ID: 37725458
Tried that it actually ins't  free.  You can download it and try it and it says it can do it but then it wants you to pay.
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Author Comment

by:Christian Couture
ID: 37725465
it is Excel 2003

Expert Comment

ID: 37725475
For passwords over 3 characters you have to pay. But it says it recovers all of them - you just can't see them, so it should at least indicate whether the full version will work.

Expert Comment

ID: 37725492
You can run it and see if it can find/crack the password - you have to pay if the password is over 3 characters in length.  At least you will know if it works.

Expert Comment

ID: 37725501
Since you are using Excel 2003, you may wish to try

Author Closing Comment

by:Christian Couture
ID: 37757080
We were able to track down the old user and get the passwords. Thanks for your help

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