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How to Fix Cannot Open Database Error in MS Access? – An Ideal Solution

Published By Siddharth Tehri
Ashwani Tiwari
Approved By Ashwani Tiwari
Published On February 23rd, 2024
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

Users using Microsoft Access are known for the proprietary & highly organized Database Management System provided by Microsoft. It is the most user-friendly and efficient database system used in all types of small and large business organizations. Only because of its user-centered interface and amazing functionality, it has become very popular among users.

Moreover, the data stored in the Access Database is in ACCDB file format. It is the file format, which can be linked directly to data stored in other applications or databases, for example, MS Excel, XML, HTML, SharePoint, Outlook, etc. However, there are some situations in which database files get corrupted and generate a “cannot open Access database” error. Thus, this post will focus on all possible reasons that give rise to such an error and how to fix the MS Access Database Error.

Ms Access Database

Reasons Behind Inaccessibility of MS Access Database

In order to get a satisfactory solution, it is really important for a user to identify the actual reasons behind the Cannot open access database error. The most probable reason that a user can’t open the ACCDB file in Access is corruption. It is a commonly occurring issue in all types of databases that make database files inaccessible. Thus,

  • It can be due to hardware & software incompatibilities & conflicts.
  • If there is a large size of data in a file, then also it leads to corruption.
  • Accidentally deleted data or storage media format.
  • The damaged header and structure of the ACCDB file also lead to database inaccessibility.
  • If a user has restored the database from an invalid backup file.
  • Due to an incompatible version of the Access file i.e. created in Access 2003 or below versions.

Manual Method to Fix ‘Cannot Open Access Database’ Error

In MS Access 2003 and all previous versions, the data is stored in MDB file format. However, in the latest versions MS Access stores data in ACCDB file format. Due to this, it creates compatibility issues. Therefore, whenever a user tries to access the older database file in the latest version it displays ‘Cannot open access database’. It may not be a database that your application recognizes, or the file may be a corrupt ’ error message.

Moreover, MS Access 2007 and all the above versions have some advanced features like data macros published to Access services, multivalued fields, etc. All these facilities are not available in older versions of the application. Thus, it is unable to open the file in the newer versions.

Also Read: How to Repair Corrupt MS Access Database Files

Convert MS Access MDB to ACCDB to Fix “Unable to Open Access Database” Issue

To overcome the compatibility issue of the MS Access Database file, export MDB to the ACCDB file format using the manual procedure discussed in this segment. This will help users view the incorporated content. To begin the process, it is important to close all programs and files related to MS Access. However, the manual must be executed in Access 2007 and above versions. To convert MDB to ACCDB, follow the steps given below:

1. To initiate, open MS Access application on your system
2. After that, click on the “File” tab and then, click on the Open option
3. Now, an Open dialog box will appear, choose the Access MDB file that you want to export to the ACCDB file format
4. After that, click again on the File tab, then click on the Save & Publish option
5. Now, click on Access Database (*.accdb) under the Database File Types
6. Then, click on Save As option to save the database file type settings

Here, as you click on Save As an option, the application will ask you to close all MS Access objects if any of them are opened. If you want to close the objects, click on Yes or click on No to cancel the whole conversion process. Then, Access will ask you to save the changes (if any).

7. In last, in the File name field, give a name to the exported file and click on the Save button

After all this, a copy of the database is created and easily opened by the MS Access application. Moreover, the original database will be closed by MS Access automatically.

Retrieve Data from Backup File

If a user is not able to access the MS Access database file, then the best solution recover the data from the recent backup file. This solution will help in regaining access back to the database file. Moreover, it is also helpful in the case of lost and corrupt data.

Professional Solution to Repair MS Access Database Cannot Open Error

To have a foolproof solution without any effort, it is always suggested to go for a third-party commercial solution i.e. Access Database Repair Software. It is the one-stop solution to all user queries related to the “cannot open Access database file” error.

With this utility, you can easily recover all data items stored in MS Access such as tables, macros, forms, etc., without any hassle. Besides this, this software is proficient enough to recover all deleted, corrupted data from ACCDB files. Moreover, the tool has a simple and easy user interface a user needs to have deep knowledge of MS Access to use the software.

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Here are some of the features of this wizard:

  • Recover data from MDB and ACCDB files.
  • Restore tables, queries, forms, macros, reports, etc.
  • Export deleted records and save only recovered data locally.
  • Save output files in ACCDB, MDB, and CSV formats after recovery.
  • Export and save healthy databases with schema and data.
  • Preview all tables and attributes of MDB & ACCDB files.
  • Restore files corrupted due to MDB file size exceeding limits.
  • Compatible with MS Access versions 2021, 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, etc.
  • Download and install on Windows 11 and all below versions.

The Bottom Line

MS Access Database application is a widely used application in many business organizations. Thus, any issue in it can create big trouble. One such error that is commonly faced by the users is cannot open Access database file error. Hence, after understanding the reason behind this error, we have discussed two different manuals to gain access back to the database file. Most probably after converting MDB to ACCDB, a user can open the Access database file very easily. If not, the Access Database Repair Tool is suggested to have satisfactory results.