While checking my old laptop, i got a xls file which i created in 2007(School days). The file name is myfile.xls and it is protected by password.

As it is a document from 2007, i forgot the password which i set in that xls file. Now i am just curious to know what is inside the file and why i put a password in a xls file during my school days.

So i tried some methods to remove the password from that file like converting the file to txt using unoconv and libreoffice native conversion method. None of the methods worked for me.

Also from a stack exchange answer i came to know that editing metadata may help to remove the password.

So i tried the following command and it didn't work either

sed -i 's/sheetProtection password//g' myfile.xls

The following is the details of the file

ubuntu@thoshiba-sat:~/Desktop$ file myfile.xls 
myfile.xls: Composite Document File V2 Document, Little Endian, Os: Windows, Version 5.1, Code page: 1252, Author: raveesh, Last Saved By: raveesh, Name of Creating Application: Microsoft Excel, Create Time/Date: Tue Nov 27 05:32:13 2007, Last Saved Time/Date: Wed Nov 287 13:49:43 2007, Security: 1

I have already tried exiftool to remove metadata, and it displayed error.

Is there any other possible way to edit the meta data of xls file or can i remove the password in any other method ?

  • You may try using an offline document password cracker. – Mukesh Sai Kumar Dec 6 '17 at 6:38
  • Hmm, i was looking for a linux tool to perform that – user768338 Dec 6 '17 at 10:31
  • I remember that password protected xls files at that time could be opened with openoffice without requiring the password (some morron reported this as a bug though it was clearly a security flow in the file format). If this s not the case with new Libreoffice versions maybe an older version could be a solution. – Bruni Dec 6 '17 at 10:51
  • I think you lose. Password protecting a document would be useless if there were an easy way to defeat the password protection. – waltinator Dec 6 '17 at 15:00
  • @waltinator I am quite positive xls password protection was useless for any serious privacy needs. – Bruni Dec 6 '17 at 18:48

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