How to Recover an Excel Password on a Mac

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

Updated September 15, 2017

The Macintosh-based Microsoft Excel program can be locked with a password so only an authorized user can activate its functions once it has been launched. You can recover the password that is locking an Excel program and preventing it from being used, providing that you have administration privileges on the Mac. The procedure involves using a built-in program that is included with the Mac’s OS X operating system.

Launch the Keychain Access program. On the Mac's main hard drive, double-click the "Applications" folder, then the "Utilities" folder, then the "Keychain Access" icon.

Click on “Passwords” in the left column of the Keychain Access program’s main screen.

Click the “Name” column at the top left of the Keychain Access program’s main screen. This will alphabetize the list of names.

Scroll down the list until you come to "Excel." Click once on "Excel." Press "Command I" to bring up an information window.

Click on the "Attributes" tab at the top of the window that opens. Check the “Show password” check box at the lower left corner of the window.

Enter the administrator’s password in the "Password" field of the pop-up window that appears. Click on the “Allow” button at the right bottom corner of the pop-up window.

Read the password for the Excel program that is now listed next to the "Show password" check box. Close the window by clicking the red button at the upper left corner. Quit the Keychain Access program.


There is no need for a password in Excel if you are the only one who will be using the Mac.