3 Best XLSM Password Removers

XLSM Password Remover

You got a password-protected XLSM file and want to remove the password? You are at the right place.

XLSM is a file extension. As the initial three letters of the extension XLS reflect, it is an MS Excel file. The fourth letter M says that it is a macro-enabled document. Simply put, any file with an XLSM extension means it uses macros.

“What are macros?” you may ask.

A straightforward answer would be that a macro is a simple or complex set of instructions written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language. When you execute these codes, they automate the tasks that you may have defined.

Alternatively, you can pick a simpler approach by recording your actions with macros. Once you stop the recording, these actions are converted into VBA codes.

To access the Macros box, you can go to ‘View’ from the menu bar, and click ‘Macros’. If you haven’t created a macro, you can define a name in the ‘Macro name’ field and click ‘Create’. You can then write the VBA code in the editor window that opens up next.

On the other hand, to record a macro, you can click the down-facing arrow below the ‘Macros’ button in the ‘View’ Ribbon, click ‘Record Macro’, and start working on the file normally. Once you’re done recording, you can get back to ‘View’ > ‘Macros’, and click ‘Stop Recording’.

Excel Macros

If you have already recorded a macro or written a VBA code, you can execute it by going to ‘View’ > ‘Macro’, selecting the name of the macro from the list, and clicking ‘Run’.

All said and done, after creating a macro, if you wish to save the workbook, you must go to ‘File’ > ‘Save As’, define a name in the ‘File name’ field, and choose ‘Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook’ which will then use the XLSM extension instead of standard XLSX.

After learning about what an XLSM file is, we are going to introduce some XLSM password removers. Here you will learn about the 3 most useful Excel VBA password removers an XLSM file may use.

3 XLSM Password Removers

As mentioned above, if you protected a macro-enabled workbook with a password and forgot it, you must use an XLSM VBA password remover to regain access. The three most effective methods to get the job done are explained below, along with their merits and demerits so that you can decide which works best for you.

1. iToolab PassWiper for Excel

The simplest method is to use a third-party tool that makes your password removal task merely a matter of a few mouse clicks. One such application that has earned a decent reputation among its users in recent years is PassWiper by iToolab.

PassWiper supports Windows 7 through Windows 11 and is compatible with Microsoft Excel 2003 through 2021 and Office 365 suite.

In addition to working as an XLSM password remover, PassWiper is also effective on XLSX, XLS, XML, XLAM, XPS, XLA, XLSB, CSV, XLTX, XLTM, XLT and ODS formats.

The program uses Dictionary attack, Combination attack, and Brute Force attack to recover the passwords that are needed to open your encrypted XLSM file and remove the passwords that prevent you from making structural and content modifications.

Nevertheless, like everything else, iToolab PassWiper also comes with some pros and cons that are listed below.


  • Simple to use.
  • Supports almost all Excel file types.
  • Allows you to remove Excel worksheet or workbook passwords within a few seconds.
  • Recovers the encryption password that is required to open an Excel file.
  • Allows you to use your own dictionary files to recover the password.


  • Works only on Windows computers. If you’re using a Mac computer, try PassFab for Excel.
  • Paid software.
iToolab Passwiper for Excel 1

2. Hex Editor

Hex Editor is usually a freeware tool that many penetration testers and reverse engineers use to check the hardening of a secured program. Although you can use Hex Editor as an XLSM VBA password remover, you must have an in-depth understanding of what happens in the background when you run computer software and how the reverse engineering codes work.

Once you have a good understanding of the above two ingredients, using a Hex Editor as an XLSM password remover would be easy.

To make this method work, you must do the following:

  • Back up your XLSM file.
  • Change the file extension from XLSM to ZIP.
  • Open the ZIP file with any file archiver.
  • Go to the XL directory.
  • Extract the vbaProject.bin file to your preferred location.
  • Use a Hex Editor to open the file.
  • Search for the DPB= entry in the Hex Editor.
  • Replace DPB= with DPX=. (Replace B with X)
Hex Editor

  • Save the file.
  • Put it back inside the XL folder in the ZIP file. Overwrite the old file with this new one when Windows prompts.
  • Change the ZIP extension back to XLSM.
  • Execute the VBA project.
  • Right-click the VBA Project.
  • Go to Properties.
  • Go to the Protection tab.
  • Remove the password.
  • Save, close, and reopen the file.

Some pros and cons of using a Hex Editor are given below:


  • It’s free.
  • Simple to use as an XLSM password remover. All you need to do is, replace DPB with DPx.
  • Extremely specific and works precisely if used correctly.
  • Small in size and doesn’t use many hardware resources or processing.
  • Pretty effective.
  • You can use it for other purposes too.


  • Requires an in-depth understanding of reverse engineering and coding.
  • Doesn’t work if even a single line of instructions is incorrect.

3. Visual Basic Editor

When you go to the Macro box and create one, the next window that opens is that of Visual Basic Editor. In this box, you can enter VBA codes to create a macro. However, because you must type the entire code, you must have an in-depth understanding of the Visual Basic programming language and you must be able to write working codes in it.

With that said, if you are good at programming, you can use the Visual Basic Editor box to create an XLSM password remover. On the other hand, if you don’t come from a technical background, you can use the VBA code written by someone else. For your convenience, you can use the VBA code given here.

Visual Basic Editor

Some pros and cons of using Visual Basic Editor include:


  • Free to use.
  • Works without any glitches.
  • Creates a GUI-based browsing method to locate the protected file to remove passwords from.
  • Removes both structural and content modification passwords.


  • You must write several lines of code to make it work.
  • Does not recover the encryption password required to open a password-protected workbook.
  • Requires manual execution using a different XLSM file.
  • This method works only on Windows computers.


XLSM files are macro-enabled workbooks that have a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) project to automate some tasks. If you used a password to protect such a workbook and forgot it, you can use any of the above XLSM password remover methods to regain access.

Michael Yang

Michael Yang

Michael is the founder of ClarifyHow and has also been a test engineer for phones and computers since 5 years ago. He gets various problems while working and fixes most of them by himself or his colleagues, so he would like to share his experience and knowledge.

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