Import passwords from a text file

Important:  This feature isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC. Inquire is only available in the Office Professional Plus and Office 365 Professional Plus editions. Read Excel 2010 workbooks with Power Pivot don't work in some versions of Excel 2013. What version of Office am I using?

If you're using the commands on the Inquire tab to compare two workbooks, analyze cell, worksheet, or workbook relationships, analyze a workbook, or clean excess cell formatting, Excel still needs to open those files behind the scenes (even if they're already open), and those files might be password-protected. If your organization uses a lot of passwords to protect files, you may want to build a list of these passwords in a text file. Then, import the file so that Excel can scan the list of passwords to find ones that work on the protected files.

If you want some background about storing passwords before you go on, read Manage passwords used to open files for analysis and comparison.

One of the easiest ways to create a text file is by using Notepad, saving the file with a *.txt file extension (like Passwords.txt). The password and the (optional) description are separated by a comma, and there's no space after the comma. No quote marks (") are needed around the description. Enter additional passwords on new lines, like this (some have a description and others don't):

Password list in a Notepad file

Keep in mind that a password doesn't have to be associated with a particular file. The password list is simply a list that Spreadsheet Compare reads until it finds a password that works on a file it's trying to open.

  1. In the Password Manager dialog box, click Import.

    Password Manager

  2. Browse to your text file, click Open, and click OK.


If you included a description for a password, it will appear under Password Description. If a password contains a comma, you can't import it because the comma will be seen as the separator between the password and its description. If you have a password containing a comma, you'll need to enter it manually in the Password dialog box by clicking Add.

Manually adding a password


After you've finished importing your passwords, it's your choice whether to hold onto the text file, as it might come in handy later for you. But be sure to save it in a secure place, as you do with any passwords you write down or otherwise save.

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