act password recoverySeveral times a month I receive a call from an organization that has lost their ACT! password.  Sometimes this happens when the ACT! Administrator leaves the company – and takes his password with him.  Fortunately we are able to recover those passwords and send the new administrator on their way with the advice to have two administrative users in the future “just in case.”

However, many times a single ACT! user calls lamenting that he can’t open his ACT! database because he  has forgotten his password.  I could charge the person to recover the password but, kind-hearted person that I am, I offer these tips that recover the password more often than not.

  • Typically the user name is the users first and last name.
  • The password is CASE sensitive, the user name is not.
  • When prompted for your password, try leaving the password field blank.  If you can’t remember your password chances are good that you never had one to begin with.

So why does this happen?  Every ACT! database requires at least one user.  And, if the database only has a single user without a password, you will not be prompted to officially “logon” to the database.  However, if you add another user, upgrade to a newer version, restore a backup or move to a new computer you will have to supply your entire user name and password.  And that password might be blank.

In other cases, users include a checkmark next to the Remember password option which means they were able to open and close their ACT! database hundreds of times without ever having to supply a password.  Which leads me to wonder:  what’s the point of assigning a password if anyone can access your confidential data by just clicking OK? Absence may make the heart grow fonder but it doesn’t do a whole lot for your memory.  When you run into a situation where you’re required to cough up that password you may just find that you no longer remember what it is.

One finally tip:  if you do assign a password to your database avoid using common ones such as password or 123456.  These two passwords consistently rank as the most commonly used passwords year after year.