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Stop MS Access from prompting for passwords to linked ODBC tables.

You should be using integrated security. But since we don't control all the things, sometimes database password authentication is forced on us.


You can set up a file DSN with the password, but in MS Access it is never saved.  Instead everytime you reopen the database and view a table you see this:

  Here is the workaround.

  1. Create a special type of query called a Pass-Through Query which does store passwords
  2. Create a macro that runs this query at startup

This works by initiating a special silent query at startup using the password. Once the database password has been used once, it is cached for the MS Access session.

Create the Pass-Through Query


  1. On the Ribbon choose the Create Tab and click Query Design
  2. Close the Show Table dialog
  3. Click the Pass-Through button on the Design Tab
  4. Click Property Sheet to edit the connection string properties. You can paste a connection string or use the ... builder to open a GUI. If you use the builder be sure to choose to Save the password in the connection string.
  5. In the SQL Query window put in a nonsense query like "SELECT 1".
  6. Save the Query, I'll call mine dbConnect.

Create a macro that runs at startup

  1. On the Ribbon choose Create Tab and click Macro
  2. Build a Macro which opens our new query.

      Set the Action = OpenQuery and choose our dbConnect we created above.

        Click Show All Actions in the Ribbon and then choose SetWarnings Turn Warnings On = No before the OpenQuery and back to Yes afterwards.

        1. Save your Macro as AutoExec. This is a special macro name that will run at startup.

        Now close your database and reopen it. When opening linked tables you should no longer be prompted for a password.


        About Security

        In my experience, these types of passwords are the ones you find on sticky notes on monitors. They aren't real security because they are such a pain to enter.

        That being said, embedding the ODBC connection password in your database makes the password knowable to anyone who can open the MS Access database. I would encourage you to place the MS Access database in a folder secured using Active Directory security to the correct group.



        References/Hattip

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