.MDW File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .MDW file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

MDW File Recovery

What is a .MDW file?

Stores usernames and passwords of users allowed to open a specific Access database; must be linked to an Access database to be effective.

What Are Common Causes of ".MDW" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".MDW" files lost or failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete the ".MDW" file while performing file management tasks, leading to its loss.
  2. Software or system errors: Errors within the software or operating system can corrupt or delete the ".MDW" file, resulting in its failure.
  3. Hardware failure: Hardware issues such as hard drive failure or data corruption can cause the ".MDW" file to become inaccessible or lost.
  4. Malware or virus attacks: Malicious software or viruses can infect and damage the ".MDW" file, making it unusable or causing its loss.
  5. Improper shutdown: If the system or application is not properly shut down, it can lead to data corruption, including the ".MDW" file.
  6. Software upgrades or updates: During software upgrades or updates, the ".MDW" file may be overwritten or deleted, resulting in its loss or failure.
  7. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting of the storage device or incorrect file manipulation, can lead to the loss or failure of the ".MDW" file.

It is important to regularly backup ".MDW" files to minimize the risk of data loss and to implement appropriate security measures to protect against malware or virus attacks.

How to recover lost ".MDW" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".MDW" file may be deleted.

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🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".MDW" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".MDW" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".MDW" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".MDW" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".MDW" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo access Workgroup File image file file?

Programs that open ".MDW" files

Microsoft Access 2019 Microsoft Access 2019

Additional Information

  • File type: Access Workgroup File

  • File extension: .MDW

  • Developer: N/A

  • Category: Misc Files

  • Format: N/A

  • HEX: 00 01 00 00 4A 65 74 20 53 79 73 74 65 6D 20 44 42 20 20 00

  • ASCII: Jet System DB


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 16:05 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .MDW files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is the purpose of the .MDW format and how is it used in Microsoft Access?

    The .MDW format in Microsoft Access is used to store security-related information for Access databases.

    The purpose of the .MDW (Microsoft Access Workgroup Information) format is to manage user-level security in Access databases. It allows database administrators to control access permissions for different users and groups, defining what actions they can perform on the database objects (such as tables, queries, forms, reports) and what data they can view or modify.

    The .MDW file contains information about users, groups, permissions, and other security settings. It is associated with a specific Access database and is used to authenticate users when they try to open or modify the database. The .MDW file can be created and managed using the Workgroup Administrator tool provided by Microsoft.

    By using the .MDW format, database administrators can ensure that only authorized users can access and manipulate the database. It provides a way to secure sensitive data and prevent unauthorized modifications or access to the database structure.

  • Can you explain the structure and components of a .MDW file in Microsoft Access?

    A .MDW file, also known as the Microsoft Access Workgroup Information file, is used to manage user-level security in Microsoft Access databases. It contains the structure and components necessary to control user access, permissions, and security settings within an Access database. Here is a breakdown of the structure and components of a .MDW file:

    1. Workgroup Information File Header: This section contains general information about the .MDW file, such as the file format version, creation date, and compatibility information.
    2. User and Group Definitions: This section defines the users and groups that can access the database. Each user or group entry includes a unique identifier (UID), username, password, and group membership information. User-level security is enforced based on these definitions.
    3. Object Permissions: This section specifies the permissions assigned to each user or group for various database objects, such as tables, queries, forms, reports, and macros. Permissions can include read, write, delete, and design capabilities. This section controls what actions each user or group can perform on specific objects.
    4. System Permissions: This section defines system-level permissions that apply to all users or groups. These permissions include the ability to create, modify, or delete database objects, import or export data, and execute certain administrative tasks.
    5. Database Schema: This section stores the database schema, including table definitions, relationships, indexes, and other structural information. It ensures that the database structure remains consistent and can be used to enforce referential integrity.
    6. User-Level Security Options: This section contains various options related to user-level security, such as password expiration policies, password complexity requirements, and account lockout settings.
    7. Encryption Keys: This section stores encryption keys used to secure sensitive data stored in the database. It ensures that only authorized users can decrypt and access encrypted data.
    8. Miscellaneous Information: This section may include additional information or settings related to user-level security, database properties, or other features specific to the Access version and configuration.

    It's important to note that starting from Access 2007, Microsoft introduced a new security model called "Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007" and deprecated the .MDW file format. Access databases created with newer versions use the .ACCDB file format and rely on SharePoint or other alternatives for user-level security management.

  • Are there any limitations or compatibility issues associated with the .MDW format when working with different versions of Microsoft Access?

    Yes, there are limitations and compatibility issues associated with the .MDW format when working with different versions of Microsoft Access.

    1. Compatibility: The .MDW format is used in older versions of Microsoft Access (prior to Access 2007). Starting from Access 2007, Microsoft introduced a new security model based on the .ACCDB file format, which does not use the .MDW format. Therefore, if you are working with Access 2007 or later versions, you won't be able to directly use the .MDW file format.
    2. Security: The .MDW format is associated with user-level security in Microsoft Access. It allows you to define user and group permissions for different database objects. However, with the introduction of the new security model in Access 2007, user-level security based on the .MDW format is deprecated. Instead, Access 2007 and later versions use the new security features provided by the .ACCDB file format.
    3. Limitations: The .MDW format has some limitations, such as:

    a. Single Security Database: Each Access database can only use a single .MDW file for user-level security. This means that if you have multiple databases that need different security settings, you would need to use separate .MDW files for each database.

    b. Compatibility with Newer Versions: As mentioned earlier, starting from Access 2007, the .MDW format is not directly compatible. You would need to convert the .MDW file to the new security model (.ACCDB format) to use it in newer versions of Access.

    c. Limited Features: The .MDW format does not support some of the newer features introduced in Access 2007 and later versions. This includes features like attachment fields, multivalue fields, and data macros.

    d. Lack of Support: Since the .MDW format is deprecated, Microsoft no longer provides official support for user-level security based on .MDW files. It is recommended to migrate to the new security model if you are working with Access 2007 or later versions.

    Overall, if you are working with different versions of Microsoft Access, it is recommended to use the newer .ACCDB file format and the updated security model to avoid compatibility issues and leverage the latest features and support provided by Microsoft.

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