Brute-force with extended mask attack

NB: This option is available only when you recover passwords for opening Microsoft Excel 97-2013 documents.

Open file

1. Open the document you want to recover the password for. Use the Open file toolbar button, the menu (File -> Open), or the hot key (Ctrl+O).

Document details

2. Read the information about the document displayed in the Information window. Adjust the search settings (button "Next").

Choose Brute-force Attack

3. If you do not use preset scenarios optimized for your document choose "Brute-force with extended mask", then click "Next".

Set brute-force attack settings

4. Specify the search parameters on the Brute-force with mask settings tab:

Custom charsets

Define (or redefine default ones) your own charsets here. Symbol ? having special meaning here — it defines subset of symbols:

?s?d — abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789
?a — ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789 !"#$%&'()*+,-./:;<=>?@[\]^_`{|}~ (and 0x7F character)

Minimum and maximum length

Active only when mask control contains asterisk (*) symbol.


Symbol ? also having special meaning here but in a slightly different way. Each ? defines single position of the password with ?c ?s ?d? e? a? as described above and with ?0 to ?9 representing custom charsets defined by user.

Mask can contain one asterisk (*) masked position which means that this position can contains several characters at this position or in other words password will "grow" here, increasing length.

?0*s?d with minimum length == 3 and maximum length == 6 defines set of passwords which:

Thus, passwords will be generated from Aa0, Ab0, Ac0, ..., Az0, Ba0, ... zzzzzz8, zzzzzz9.

5. Start the password recovery process by clicking the "Done" button.

The search status will be displayed in the informational pane throughout the search. It will show the total number of variants, the number of checked variants, the calculated time, and more.