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Set Database Password and Unset Database Password

An Access desktop database that uses the .accdb file format can be encrypted with a password. If you know the password of an encrypted database, you can remove the password and decrypt the database.

The encryption tool in Access 2010 and later versions combines and improves on two older tools — encoding and database passwords. When you use a database password to encrypt a database, you make all data unreadable by other tools, and you force users to enter a password to use the database. The encryption applied in Access 2010 and later versions uses a stronger algorithm than was used in earlier versions of Access.

Note:  This article doesn’t apply to Access web apps – the kind of database you design with Access and publish online.

Set Database Password

  1. On the File tab, click Info, and then click Encrypt with Password.

  2. In the Password box, enter the password that you want to use.


    • Use a strong password that combines uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Weak passwords don't mix these elements. Strong password: Y6dh!et5. Weak password: House27. Passwords should be 8 or more characters in length. A pass phrase that uses 14 or more characters is better.

    • It is critical that you remember your password. If you forget your password, Microsoft cannot retrieve it. Store the passwords that you write down in a secure place away from the information that they help protect.

  3. Enter the password again in the Verify box. Type the password exactly as you did in the Password box, and then press ENTER.

Unset Database Password dialog box

  1. On the File tab, click Info, and then click Decrypt Database.

  2. In the Password box, enter the database password.

    Important:  If you do not know the password you cannot decrypt the database.

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