It is more likely than you might think it is that one day you'll face the task of restoring a lost Excel password. The types of passwords used in Microsoft Excel protection system are quite manifold ranging from the simplest passwords to edit to hard cracked passwords to open.
Once you lose or forget any of those you may be sure that before long you'll need exactly the lost password in order to edit a report or a VBA macro. Seemingly a trifling operation soon grows into a real splitting headache killing your nerve cells.
Things can get even worse if it's a corporate file you are dealing with. As is often the case with employees who, due to some persecution mania or a burning desire to prove how computer savvy they are, apply all kinds of protection to the files they work with. Then that James Bond leaves the company. Of course he can't find time to tell anybody the passwords beforehand especially since he no longer remembers any. Or he may say so from sheer bitchiness. Doesn't matter.
But what does matter is the following. There's an Excel file blocked with an unknown password which is to the boss is like a red rag to a bull. And the scapegoat is an innocent rookie who replaced the saboteur. That's where you need the Excel password remover.
But there's none. In order to get an Excel password remover you'll have to become one. There's no such thing as a ready-made Excel password remover on the market. All you can find is a number of password recovery tools i.e. password searching solutions. Thus removing Excel passwords can only be done by users themselves.
There's a wide range of password recovery tools for MS Excel. And all those solutions feature approximately the same number of functions instantaneously recovering easily cracked passwords and supporting several attack types aimed at restoring hard-to-crack passwords.
An Excel password remover's dream
Obviously the dream is easily cracked passwords. Such passwords are amply used in Excel documents. Firstly, this concerns sheet-protecting passwords applied to sheets of an Excel file. Secondly, it is a VBA password protecting VBA macros. Thirdly, it is a password to edit securing all changes applied to the document. This even concerns passwords to open Excel 95 files. All those types of passwords are recovered in no time.
It's that easy! One click and here's your password. Is this not a dream of the user who had the bad luck and had to remove an Excel password?
An Excel password remover's nightmare
The nightmare is about passwords to open Excel 97-2003 files. The recovery process takes time. A lot of time actually. The process involves so-called attacks or password searching methods. They include the brute force attack consisting in successive searching of all possible combinations; mask attack searching only within the number of variants that meet the preset parameters - mask; dictionary-based attack searching only within the range of variants that are stored in special files - dictionaries.
Clearly, all that's left to an Excel password remover is to gather his patience and wait till the assisting software restores the lost password. But that's not all that could be done. You can do more...
The right choice
You can and must make the right choice while choosing your mate - software tool that will recover passwords.
All such tools are quite similar to one another. But devil's in the details.
If comparative functional check of solutions as to searching easy-to-crack passwords sheds no light at which one is the best then comparing their handling of hard-to-crack passwords does make the task of choosing much simpler.
The best contenders realize the dictionary-based attacks with password transformation. In case the register of characters was changed or any symbol omitted or transposition of adjacent characters took place this all will be taken care of and all combinations will be checked during the transformation procedure. Some software developers intentionally accentuate such features of their products by giving them high-sounding names. For example, Advanced Dictionary Manager.
The mask attack pursues some of its own objectives. One of its features is mask creation convenience. Mask attack - a variation of brute force attack checking only those passwords that meet the specified parameters - mask. That's where an Excel password remover would need a convenient, preferably visual, tool for specifying a mask - the one that would help set possible parameters for each position in the password to be generated. No doubt software developers are well aware of this problem and do offer their solutions. One example is Advanced Mask Composer.
And finally, the most important for users, the primary criterion - speed performance while working with hard-to-crack passwords. The working speed determines how soon the actual result - recovered password - will be obtained. If a software developing company announces ten-fold acceleration as AccentSoft has done referring to one of its products - Accent EXCEL Password Recovery - then every Excel password remover simply must at least try it out and assess the claimed speed.
So, in case of lost Excel passwords you should remember the following: Excel passwords can be recovered by the best-quality software but still not removed. To remove them you'll have to become an Excel password remover!