Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 211378 - Last Review: November 3, 2003 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q211378

On This Page


When you try to create a data source for a Microsoft Excel for Windows workbook, you may receive the following error message:
Could not decrypt file.


This problem may occur if all of the following conditions are true:
  • You are using the Microsoft Excel ODBC driver.


  • The workbook for which you are creating the data source is protected by a password.


  • The workbook for which you are creating the data source is not currently open in Microsoft Excel.


Method 1: Remove the Workbook Password

To work around this problem, remove the password from the workbook. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Microsoft Excel.
  2. On the File menu, click Open.
  3. Locate and select the workbook with the password.
  4. Click Open.
  5. Enter the password for the workbook and click OK.
  6. On the File menu, click Save As.
  7. Click the drop-down arrow next to Tools, and click General Options.
  8. Delete the text in the Password to open box and click OK.
  9. Click Save. Click Yes when you are prompted to replace the existing file with the same name.
  10. Close the workbook.
You can create your data source without receiving an error message.

Method 2: Open the File in Excel

If you have the password protected workbook open in Microsoft Excel, you will be able to successfully create a data source for this workbook. However, you must have this workbook open when you use this data source or when you refresh a query that is pulling data from this data source.


For more information about protecting your workbook, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type Protect workbooks from changes in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topic.

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Query 2000
kbprb KB211378
Additional support options
Ask The Microsoft Small Business Support Community
Contact Microsoft Small Business Support
Find Microsoft Small Business Support Certified Partner
Find a Microsoft Store For In-Person Small Business Support