MS-ACCESS Database Password Level Security

Its a bad feeling to find yourself locked out of your own password protected MS-ACCESS database.  What steps should you take to gain access to your password protected database? I would try free, lower cost options first and move on up.

  1. First, try to remain calm. You are more likely to remember the password if you are in a calm frame of mind. Take a deep breath and tell yourself you will recall the password from memory. Write down any passwords that come to mind.  Methodically try each password. As you try them, cross it off your list and try the next one.  Hopefully that will work.
  2. Second, if that fails, look for pieces of paper you might have written it down on. Frequently people will write them down and leave it on their desk. look for anything that could be a password on a sticky note or pad of paper. Try them all and keep a list of all that you have tried.
  3. If you have access to the computer where the database is located. Search the desktop and user areas for documents that might contain the password. Sometimes users will write down the password for cases like this.
  4. Check for a non-encrypted version of the database. Sometimes an older version was left non-encrypted and it may still be found on the computer itself under a similar name.
  5. It may be possible to find it in backup media CD or DVD copies, or else in storage areas on the network. Ask you back up administrators for help.
  6. Ask your system administrator if they can help your recover it. More than likely you are not the first person to forget their password to a password protected MS-Office document or MS-Access database. If you ask very nicely, (because all system admins are busy all the time) they may be willing to help. Bigger IT staffs should have password cracking tools used to recover such password protected files. If it is sufficiently important they might be willing to help your recover it.

Finally, there are some password cracking tools that are uniquely capable of trying to crack MS-ACCESS password protected databases. Before you download any tools, be cautious. You should scan any downloads for malware, and check the reputation of vendors before using the software.

How Much Should You Pay for Password Recovery Tools?

In my own research the cost for an ms-access specific password tool was about $30-$50 for a basic program but could be as high as $100. There are other tools that are more expensive and might have more features. I would first use ‘demo’ versions of the lowest cost first.

Important: Don’t pay for the software until after it recovers the password.  Password recovery software will will try to recover the password and give you message if successful. Once, they find the password, the software will prompt you to buy a license  in order to reveal the password.

Keep in mind before you try this that the password cracking program may need to run for several hours or days.  It could even take weeks before a password is found. If the password is completely random, and lengthy, then it may not be possible to break the password. That is why you should not pay out money for password cracking tools until you know it has recovered your password.