Code Samples for Businesses, Schools & Developers

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First Published 3 Nov 2023

One of my regular readers, Lorenzo Garuglieri, saw my recent article Open Database with Shift Bypass using Code and emailed me to ask:

If the database you want to open is password protected, how does the procedure work?

An excellent question! The original code won't correctly handle opening external databases that are encrypted with a password.

However, it is easily adapted for that purpose.

The OpenCurrentDatabase command has 3 arguments, two of them optional. The syntax is

      Application.OpenCurrentDatabase(filepath As String, Optional Exclusive As Boolean = False, Optional strPassword As String)

The modified code below handles the open exclusively option as well as the password where relevant. It also includes error handling.

The code should be placed in a standard module


Option Compare Database
Option Explicit

'====== API DECLARATIONS ========

'Pause code using the Sleep API
#If VBA7 Then       'A2010 or later (32/64-bit)
      Declare PtrSafe Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32.dll" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)
#Else       'A2007 or earlier
      Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32.dll" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)
#End If

'Simulate a keystroke
#If VBA7 Then
      Declare PtrSafe Sub keybd_event Lib "user32" (ByVal bVk As Byte, ByVal bScan As Byte, _
            ByVal dwFlags As Long, ByVal dwExtraInfo As LongPtr)
      Declare Sub keybd_event Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal bVk As Byte, ByVal bScan As Byte, _
            ByVal dwFlags As Long, ByVal dwExtraInfo As Long)
#End If

'====== END OF API DECLARATIONS ========

Sub OpenWithShiftBypass(strPath As String, Optional blnExcl As Boolean = False, Optional strPwd As String)

On Error GoTo Err_Handler

      Dim appAccess As Access.Application

      ' Create a new instance of Access
      Set appAccess = New Access.Application

      ' Simulate pressing the Shift key to bypass startup code
      keybd_event vbKeyShift, 0, 0, 0

      'Open the target database
      If strPwd <> "" Then
            appAccess.OpenCurrentDatabase strPath, blnExcl, strPwd
            appAccess.OpenCurrentDatabase strPath, blnExcl
      End If

      'OPTIONAL - Make the target database visible
      appAccess.Visible = True

      ' Simulate releasing the Shift key
      keybd_event vbKeyShift, 0, 2, 0

      ' OPTIONAL - Wait 5 seconds (5000 milliseconds) so external app can be viewed before closing it
      ' NOT NEEDED if app is hidden
      Sleep 5000

      'OPTIONAL - Close the target database

      ' Quit the new instance of Access

      ' Release the object
      Set appAccess = Nothing

      Exit Sub

      'err 2467 = The expression you entered refers to an object that is closed or doesn't exist.
      ' occurs if user closed external database manually prior to code running
      If Err = 2467 Then Resume Next

      MsgBox "Error " & Err.Number & " in OpenWithShiftBypass procedure : " & _
            Err.Description, vbOKOnly + vbCritical, "Critical Error"

      keybd_event vbKeyShift, 0, 2, 0       'release the Shift key

      Resume Exit_Handler      
End Sub

Example usage:
a)   Open database with no password
      OpenWithShiftBypass "G:\MyFiles\ExampleDatabases\Northwind\2023\Northwind22Dev.accdb"

b)   Open database encrypted with password: isladogs
      OpenWithShiftBypass "G:\MyFiles\ExampleDatabases\ShiftBypass\TestDBPwd.accdb", , "isladogs"
      . . . OR use
      OpenWithShiftBypass "G:\MyFiles\ExampleDatabases\ShiftBypass\TestDBPwd.accdb", False, "isladogs"

c)   Open database exclusively, encrypted with password: letmein
      OpenWithShiftBypass "G:\MyFiles\ExampleDatabases\ShiftBypass\AnotherTestDBPwd.accdb", True, "letmein"

Further Information

As before, the above code will not work where the shift bypass property has been disabled.

This is often done to protect databases and ensure required startup code is run.
However, it is also possible to re-enable the shift bypass from another Office application.

The third article in this series will provide code to manage the shift bypass and help protect your databases.


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Colin Riddington           Mendip Data Systems                 Last Updated 3 Nov 2023

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