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VBA Project Level Security

EE Professionals,

I have a very old(pre-Excel 2000) Excel Spreadsheet that I am trying to get access to the VBA Project Code Level to help the original owner (now over 80 years old), reconstruct the code (it is a non-commercial application).  Unfortunately, he has forgotten the VBA Password he used many years ago and in trying to help him recover it I have gotten advice from EE in the past about a Hexcode level Password access.  I tried it and it did give us access to the sheet but not the the VBA Project Level.  I have saved the original WB into an XLSM file.  Now, I'm investigating a program called;


and was wondering if anyone has experience using the Standard Version (on a single PC).  I just need this for a single file but given the importance of the program, I'm willing to spend the $100 if it works.  The company is Russian and offers no phone number to get actual questions answered.

Any help or ideas on this would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Microsoft Excel

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Rory Archibald

I've used Elcomsoft successfully in the past. It should break a VBA project password instantly but so should the method you used - assuming you did it correctly! (they may well use the same method in AOPR).


Thank you for the comments.  I went back and tried to use the Hex Editor and ran across a problem; again........

Here's what I took as "direction":

A VBA project password can be removed with a hex editor. Close the workbook and open the workbook file in the hex editor. Find the string "DPB" and change it to "DPx". Save the file. Open the workbook and click OK until the workbook is open (one or more dialogs are displayed describing various problems with the VBA project). Press ALT+F11, choose the menu command Tools->VBAProject Properties, navigate to the Protection tab, and change the password but do not remove it (note the new password). Save, close, and re-open the workbook. Press ALT+F11 and enter the new password. Choose Tools->VBAProject Properties, navigate to the Protection tab, and remove the password. Save the workbook.

When I got to the VBAProject Properties, it asked me for a password; there was no Protection tab.  That's where it all stopped.

Any advice,

Rory Archibald

Not really - can you share the file?
Your help has saved me hundreds of hours of internet surfing.

Can I contact you directly?  I would not want it as a public file.

Rory Archibald

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TY -..... Just sent you the info.
Rory Archibald

and I've just sent it back with password broken and replaced (new password in the email) :)
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TY TY TY --- That was quick and worked!  I'm not certain how you did that and at lightening speed but I really appreciate it.

Hi, Rory.

Did you have to do anything beyond the "usual process"?

Rory Archibald

Hi Brian,
Not really, other than that, because it was an xlsm, I had to rename as zip, extract and then perform the changes on the VBAProject.bin file before zipping back up.

and of course someone at work saw me scrolling through the hex editor output and now they think I'm an even bigger freak... ;)
This is the best money I have ever spent. I cannot not tell you how many times these folks have saved my bacon. I learn so much from the contributors.

... and this was news to them?!

Thanks for the update.