I found a pretty easy way of disabling the password protection in the new Excel Worksheet files (XLSX) used by Excel 2007 and 2010.  Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Change the file extension from .XLSX to .ZIP
  2. Extract the file to a folder with your favorite unzipper (7-Zip is what I used).
  3. Go to the “xlworksheet” sub-folder that you just extracted.
  4. There should be one or more files named like: sheet1.xml (sheet2.xml, etc). Inside of one of those files is an XML tag: <sheetProtection password=… />. Delete that entire XML tag.
  5. Re-zip the files back up.
  6. Rename from .ZIP to .XLSX

Enjoy..!! You have done it.

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