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How to Decrypt Database File in SQL Server Express

Undoubtedly, SQL Server database file becomes safe while it is protected with strong SA password. However, if lost SA password, even SQL Server owner could not access SQL database file. Is there any way to decrypt the encrypted database in SQL Server Express?

Besides connecting to SQL Server using Windows authentication, I think the most effective and safe way should be SQL Password Genius. The SQL pasword recovery tool could easily decrypt SQL database file, master.mdf file, by resetting SA password offline.

Steps to decrypt SQL database file with SQL Password Genius

Prepare SQL Password Genius full version. And we should know where SQL Server database file is, especially master.mdf file. It is general located in this folder: C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\Data

And what should be paid attention to is that, stop SQL Server Service before decrypting SQL Server database with SQL Password Genius. And remember to restart SQL Server Service after SQL database file decryption, if you want to open decrypted database file in SQL Server Express.

Step 1: Install SQL Password Genius full version on your computer with registration code.

SQL Password Genius full version registration

Step 2: Import encrypted SQL database file into SQL Password Genius.

SQL Password Genius could reset or change user password for SQL Server master.mdf file. So click Open File button to browse encrypted master database file in computer, then add it to software. Instantly, you could see all users for database file listed in box.

import encrypted SQL Server database file to decrypt

Step 3: Decrypt SQL Server database file.

Decrypt SQL Server database just needs to reset user password for opening database file. So select SA account and click Reset button under user list.

reset encrypted SQL Database file password

A new window pops up. Type new password for this user account and click OK. And then new password would show in user list. That means SQL server database password has been changed.

Now close SQL Password Genius and start SQL Server Service, and you could open encrypted SQL Server database file with new password.

Besides the effective way above, you could also try these following ways if as long as SQL Server satisfies the corresponding conditions:

Option 1: Decrypt SQL Server database file using Windows Authentication mode

This way asks that you have admin privileges in Windows computer to control SQL Server database. Because Windows Authentication logon mode needs Windows local administrator. Login into SQL Server with Windows Authentication mode and change SA password in SQL Server Management Studio.

Option 2: Decrypt SQL database file with command

If you know well Command Prompt, this way can be your second or third choice to descrypt SQL database file when you have administrator privileges. It woud be no question that if decrypt database file with SQL Password Genius, so it should be SQL users' first choice.

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