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Introduction - VBA InputBox Password

Use this VBA InputBox to mask passwords. This private InputBox was originally created by Daniel Klann many years ago, but I’ll teach you how to use it. I’ll be the first to tell you, this isn’t original content. This macro has been known to the VBA community for well over a dozen years. Stay with me here!

A VBA InputBox that masks your password protects you and your users from prying eyes. You can use a private InputBox for many things, like storing a password to log onto terminal or making a user type a password before continuing your macro. Take a look!

Example - VBA InputBox Password

Private Declare Function CallNextHookEx Lib "user32" (ByVal hHook As Long, _
    ByVal ncode As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, lParam As Any) As Long

Private Declare Function GetModuleHandle Lib "kernel32" Alias "GetModuleHandleA" (ByVal lpModuleName As String) As Long

Private Declare Function SetWindowsHookEx Lib "user32" Alias "SetWindowsHookExA" _
    (ByVal idHook As Long, ByVal lpfn As Long, ByVal hmod As Long, ByVal dwThreadId As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function UnhookWindowsHookEx Lib "user32" (ByVal hHook As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function SendDlgItemMessage Lib "user32" Alias "SendDlgItemMessageA" _
(ByVal hDlg As Long, ByVal nIDDlgItem As Long, ByVal wMsg As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, ByVal lParam As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function GetClassName Lib "user32" Alias "GetClassNameA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, _
ByVal lpClassName As String, ByVal nMaxCount As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function GetCurrentThreadId Lib "kernel32" () As Long

'Constants to be used in our API functions
Private Const WH_CBT = 5
Private Const HCBT_ACTIVATE = 5
Private Const HC_ACTION = 0

Private hHook As Long


'Password masked inputbox
'Allows you to hide characters entered in a VBA Inputbox.
'Code written by Daniel Klann
'March 2003

Public Function NewProc(ByVal lngCode As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, ByVal lParam As Long) As Long
    Dim RetVal
    Dim strClassName As String, lngBuffer As Long

    If lngCode < HC_ACTION Then
        NewProc = CallNextHookEx(hHook, lngCode, wParam, lParam)
        Exit Function
    End If

    strClassName = String$(256, " ")
    lngBuffer = 255

    If lngCode = HCBT_ACTIVATE Then    'A window has been activated

        RetVal = GetClassName(wParam, strClassName, lngBuffer)
        If Left$(strClassName, RetVal) = "#32770" Then  'Class name of the Inputbox

            'This changes the edit control so that it display the password character *.
            'You can change the Asc("*") as you please.
            SendDlgItemMessage wParam, &H1324, EM_SETPASSWORDCHAR, Asc("*"), &H0
        End If

    End If
    'This line will ensure that any other hooks that may be in place are
    'called correctly.
    CallNextHookEx hHook, lngCode, wParam, lParam

End Function

Function InputBoxDK(Prompt, Title) As String
    Dim lngModHwnd As Long, lngThreadID As Long

    lngThreadID = GetCurrentThreadId
    lngModHwnd = GetModuleHandle(vbNullString)
    hHook = SetWindowsHookEx(WH_CBT, AddressOf NewProc, lngModHwnd, lngThreadID)

    InputBoxDK = InputBox(Prompt, Title)
    UnhookWindowsHookEx hHook

End Function

Tutorial - VBA InputBox Password

There are a lot of moving parts in the private InputBox macro above. Fortunuately, you won’t have to modify it much. Daniel Klann did a good job providing comments just in case you do want to change a few things. The only thing you may want to change is the masking character. By default, it’s set to an asterisk - which I like - but you can change the masking character by modifying the character inside the quotes in Asc("*").

Normally, you would call an InputBox by typing InputBox in your VBA editor. To call this awesome password masking InputBox, you’ll type InputBoxDK. The DK, of course, is a shoutout to the original developer, Daniel Klann. He did a great job developing this InputBox in the early 2000s and deserves all the credit.

Check if Cancel is Pressed or Password is Blank

Here’s an example of how to use the macro. This VBA code sample looks to see if a password is entered or if the cancel button is pressed.

Sub Demo()
     x = InputBoxDK("Enter your Password.", "Password Required")
If StrPtr(x) = 0 Then
  'Cancel pressed
   Exit Sub
ElseIf x = "" Then
   MsgBox "Please enter a password"
   GoTo 101:
  'Ok pressed
  'Continue with your macro.
  'Password is stored in the variable "x"
End If
End Sub

When you run this macro, an InputBox will appear. The InputBox looks like a normal InputBox until you start typing. Once you type, your text will be replaced with your masking character.

VBA InputBox Password

Check for Correct Password

This is a neat VBA macro that prevents a user from progressing through your macro until he/she types your secret password! Your user is given 3 chances to type the right password, MyPassword. If they fail, the macro will abort. Pretty neat, eh?

Sub Demo2()
     x = InputBoxDK("Enter your Password.", "Password Required")
If x = "MyPassword" Then
  'Continue with your macro because the user typed the correct macro
  MsgBox "Welcome!"
    If i <= 1 Then
        MsgBox "Invalid Password. Try again"
        i = i + 1
        GoTo 101:
        MsgBox "Incorrect password entered too many times. Try again later."
        Exit Sub
    End If
End If
End Sub

Application Ideas - VBA InputBox Password

Like I said in the introduction, you can use a private InputBox for many things. I use it to programmatically allow users to automate interactions with FTP servers or Linux terminals without blasting their passwords publicly all over their screens.

My second example shows how to prevent unauthorized users from running a macro on your Excel spreadsheet. It’s not meant to be a secure means of preventing unauthorized runs. It’s just supposed to slow people down and give them a minute to think “do I really want to run this?”


Let’s have a conversation in the comments below! Ask questions or share how you’ll use this macro in your daily life.

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About Ryan Wells

Ryan Wells

Ryan Wells is a Nuclear Engineer and professional VBA Developer. He is the lead developer of several VBA applications, including PDF VBA - a leading Excel Add-in for exporting Excel Objects, like charts and tables, to PDFs. Discover more of his popular Excel Add-ins, including Mouse To Macro and CF Shapes, at his dedicated Excel Add-ins page.