I recently ran into some difficulty enabling SQL password saving for a data source which had password saving disabled when it was created in the Power Pivot Excel Add-in. After some trial and error, I discovered that the trick is to enable password saving in the Excel workbook connection before specifying a password and enabling password saving in the Power Pivot connection. This post provides a detailed walkthrough of the process.

To enable SQL password saving (aka “Persist Security Info”) for an existing Power Pivot connection, use the following process:

  1. Open the Excel file of interest. If already open, close then re-open the file to ensure the SQL password has not been cached.
  2. Click the Connections button in the Connections section of the Data tab. (Note that this button is disabled when a Power View worksheet is active. Switch to a non-Power View worksheet first, if necessary.) Connections
button on the Data tab
  3. Select the connection for which you want to save the SQL password, then click the Properties button. Properties button on the Workbook
Connections window
  4. Check the “Save password” box on the Definition tab of Connection Properties. Save password box in Connection Properties
window Click the “Yes” button if you are willing to save the SQL password in the workbook without encryption. Yes button of password encryption
  5. Press the “OK” button to close the Connection Properties window, then “Close” to close Workbook Connections window.
  6. Click the “Manage Data Model” button the in Data Tools section of the Data tab. Manage Data Model button on Data tab
  7. Click the “Existing Connections” button in the “Get External Data” section of the Home tab. Existing Connections button on Home
  8. Select the connection for which you want to save the SQL password, then click the Edit button. Edit button in Existing Connections
  9. Enter the password for SQL Server Authentication and check the “Save my password” box, then click the “Save” button to close the Edit Connection window. Save my password box in Edit Connection
  10. Important Click the Refresh button and enter the SQL password when prompted. I do not know why this is required, but in my testing, saving without refreshing the connection results in the password not being saved. Refresh button in Existing Connections
  11. Click the Close button to close the Existing Connections window then close the Power Pivot for Excel window.
  12. Save the Excel workbook.
  13. (Optional) Close the workbook, then re-open it and Refresh a Power View sheet to confirm the password has been saved.

Note: Excel caches the SQL password for workbook connections. During testing it is important to close and re-open the workbook before refreshing to test whether the password has been successfully saved.