Step By Step Guides To Encrypt & Decrypt Ms Access Database

It is always a good idea to password-protect or encrypt a database especially if it contains some secret information. Encrypting or password protecting a database helps to ensure that the database is secured to prevent malicious intruders from gaining access into the database, thereby ensuring data security. It is always a good advice to first learn how to decrypt or unprotect a database before you encrypt a database. Protecting a database is the process of shielding or securing a database from unauthorized users or persons with a secret code known as password.
How to secure and password protect a database in MS Access
This is part 2 of chapter 8 of the Free Online Access Tutorial Series at Microsoft Tutorial website. In this part, I will explicitly explain how password-protect and unprotect a database in MS Office Access.
In the previous part (Part 1), I explained how to create embedded and standalone macros in any versions of MS Access in detail. Also see the full tutorial course content of this Microsoft Access Tutorial Series.


Below are the step by step guide to secure a database in Microsoft Access with a password.

To Password-protect a Database in MS Access:

1. Load MS Access into your pc memory. Close the database if it already open. Then click File > Open. This prompts the Open dialogue box.

2. Specify the location of the database you wish to open and select the database name.

3. Click the drop down menu beside the Open button and select Open Exclusive from the resulting options as shown below. Access opens the database in exclusive mode.
Select open exclusive


The above three steps are used to open a database in exclusive mode.
4. Click the File tab and then click Encrypt with Password. Optionally, you can add the Set Database Password command icon in the Quick Access toolbar, where it will be easily accessible.

5. To add the Set Database Password command icon to the Quick Access tool bar: click the File tab > Options. From the Access Options dialogue box, click Quick Access tool bar from the extreme left section of the dialogue box. Then click the Choose command from: drop down menu and select Commands Not in the Ribbon option from the resulting menu list. Then select Set Database Password from the sub-options and click the Add >> button to put it in the Quick Access tool bar. Finally click Ok as shown below.
Select set database password and click add
MS Access adds the Set Database Password command icon to the Quick Access toolbar.


You can further customize the Quick Access toolbar by adding some frequently used command in it simply by selecting the command from the Access Options dialogue box.

6. Click the Set Database Password command icon from the Quick Access toolbar located above the tab bar as shown below.
Select set database password icon from the quick access tool tab
7. This prompts the Set Database Password dialogue box. Type in the password you wish to use to secure the database and re-type it for verification. Then click OK. A warning dialogue box displays. Click Ok to exit it.
Type a password and confirm it
So anytime you or anyone else try to open this database, MS Access will demand for the password. Make sure you use a code you are very familiar with so that you won’t forget it.


For some reasons, you might want to change or remove (decrypt) the password from a database you previously password-protected. Un-protecting a database is the process of removing or un-setting a database password. Note that you must first open a protected database before you can be able to un-protect it. This means that you must know the password of the protected database before you can remove the password. You can also change the database password using the procedure below.

To Remove or Change A Database Password:

1. Open the database exclusively (in exclusive mode) using steps 1 to 3 listed above.

2. Click the File tab and select Decrypt Database. Optionally, when you encrypt a database, the label in the Set Database Password in the Quick Access toolbar changes to Decrypt Database. So click the Decrypt Database command icon.

3. This prompts the Unset Database Password dialogue box. Type the former database password and click OK as shown below.
Type in the former database password


To change the password of a protected or encrypted database, you will have to decrypt or remove the database password using the above procedure and then encrypt it again using the new password.

This is the end of part 2 of chapter 8 of this FREE online MS Access tutorial training series. 

Recommended MS Access Textbook

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Click Here to know more about the book.

In the next part (part 3), I will give you the step by step guide on how to design and customize switchboards for MS Access Database.

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