"Database error 0x80004005: Could not decrypt file" Error

Published: 25 Mar 2013
Last Modified Date: 26 Nov 2019


When connecting to a password protected Microsoft Excel file from Tableau Desktop, you see the following error message:

An error occurred while communicating with Microsoft Excel File. Unable to connect to the server. Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database. Microsoft JET database error 0x80004005: Could not decrypt file.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Legacy Excel connector (related to Microsoft Jet Database Engine)


Although it is not possible to connect to a password protected Excel file using Desktop, you can use the procedure below to help secure an Excel file while allowing a Desktop connection. 
  1. Secure the directory in which the Excel file is stored.
  2. Explicitly allow only certain users the permissions required to access the secured file location.
  3. Decrypt the Excel File.


This issue is caused by limitations with Microsoft JET database engine that is used to access file based data sources like Excel.
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