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Advanced Excel Training: Unprotect Workbooks

It is all very well to take advantage of the security that Excel offers and have a range of protected workbooks, but you need to be able to unprotect them as well. This will allow you to delete spreadsheets, rearrange them or change the structure and layout of your worksheet windows when you need to. This Excel tutorial is going to teach you how to unprotect your workbooks after they have been secured.

The first thing you will need to do is click the Review tab on your Excel toolbar. In the Changes box you will find the option to Protect Workbook. Click on it:

Depending on your version of Excel, there may be a downwards-facing arrow in your Protect Workbook command icon. If this is the case, click on the arrow to access the drop-down menu. Under the Restrict Editing heading, click on the Protect Structure and Windows option:

Once this is done, Excel will automatically unprotect the workbook for you; unless a password was implemented at the time when the workbook was protected. If a password is required, then your Unprotect Workbook dialog box will appear:

Type your password in when the above window prompts it and click on OK at the bottom. If entered correctly, Excel will immediately remove the workbook security. Note that if you have forgotten your password, there is no way to recover it without effort and Excel will send you a message:

Now that you know how to protect and unprotect your workbooks, you will be able to use it to your advantage. It is also possible to easily unprotect worksheets if the data within the spreadsheets of your workbook is locked down securely. Remember to keep your passwords safe if you are using them. Make sure they are easy to remember, because you will need them to unprotect your workbooks as required.

Many of our Excel training course students in the South Florida area recommended that we write this article for you. Being able to utilize the protection features that Excel offers will ensure your workbooks do not suffer inadvertent changes with disastrous consequences. Watch our Excel training videos to learn other ways that Excel can be used optimally.


Hector Garcia CPA and QuickBooks/Excel Trainer

Hector Garcia CPA and QuickBooks/Excel Trainer

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