5 Ways To Fix Access Too Many Fields Defined Error

5 Ways To Fix Access Too Many Fields Defined Error


This article explains how to fix Access database error too many fields defined.  Apart from this, you will also get other essential information regarding too many fields defined error.

What Is Too Many Fields Defined Error?

Too Many Fields Defined Error is a clear sign that your Access table is either crossing its allotted field size limit. Or something went wrong in the Access field properties.

MS Access always keeps counting over the total number of fields added in the database table. Every single table of Access has a limit of 255 fields.

Every time you make changes in the field property, this will increase the column count to 1. On the other hand, when you delete any field this column count won’t get decreased and field count remains as it is.

Thus in such a situation, it’s quite obvious to encounter Too Many Fields Defined Error in Access.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Access Too Many Fields Defined Error?

Usually, this Access too many fields defined error encounters at the time of saving the Access table after adding a new field. Or while changing properties of already existing fields.

Error code: Access error 3190

Too many fields defined.

Too many fields defined

Further, Too many fields defined error comes with the following error message:

Errors were encountered during save. Data types were not changed.

You will get too many fields defined error message also when there are exact 255 or lesser fields defined in the table.

The user also found complaining about the following error message:

Microsoft Access report too many fields defined

This error message is received when you insert or change fields in Access report which is having too many fields in one table.

What Are The Causes Of Access Error 3190?

Microsoft Access uses an internal column count for tracking the numbers of fields used in the Table. Thus when exceeding the Access field limit which is 255 then you start receiving too many fields defined error.

If you haven’t crossed this field limit in your Access table but still you are getting too many fields defined error. In that case, the reason is that Access won’t modify the internal column count whenever the field is deleted. Apart from that Access always makes one new field for each table field whose property is modified.

So according to you haven’t crossed the Access field limit. But as per the Access internal column count, your table has already exceeded the field limit.

How To Fix Access Too Many Fields Defined Error (3190)?

Carry out the following methods to fix Too Many Fields Defined Error in Access.

1: Compact Your Database

2: Create A Fresh Copy Of Access Table

3: Pass-Through Query

4: Set Other Field Properties

5: Change A Field’s Data Type

Let’s have a detailed discussion on each of these fixes to resolve too many fields defined error.

Fix 1: Compact Your Database

To remove the deleted field counting from the internal column count compact the database. For this, you can take the help of the Compact and Repair inbuilt utility tool.

Follow the steps to compact your database using the Compact and Repair tool:

1: Firstly you need to open up your MS Access program.

2: After then make a hit on the Database Tools tab.

3: Now press the Compact and Repair Database option.

compact and repair 2

4: In the opened Database to Compact From the dialog box, make a search for your problem encountering the MS Access database file. So, make the selection of such files and then hit the compact option.

compact and repair 5

5:  It’s time to make a new database in Compact Database Into dialog box. So, assign a name to your file and then press the Save option.

compact and repair 4

Fix 2: Create A Fresh Copy Of Access Table

The second easiest way to fix Too Many Fields Defined error is by creating a new copy of the same Access table having the issue.

Before perfuming this step, make a complete list of all the relationships contained in that table.

  • At first, choose the table having the issue.
  • Go to the File menu, tap to the Save As
  • In the opened Save AS window assign any new name to your table and click ok.

rename table

  • Now choose the table which you error showing table and delete.
  • After that rename your newly created table with the same name as the original one.
  • Setup all the relationships as it is previously contained in your deleted table.

Fix 3: Pass-Through Query

As we have already discussed that Access has a limit of 255 columns or fields for each table. So if you try to link with some other external link having more than 255 columns.  In that case, Access will only consider 255 columns starting from the first.

All I want to say is that with the linked table it’s not possible to choose any specific field or columns.

So in order to retrieve the 256th column but dropping out the 1st one then use the pass-through query:

  • At first, open your Access database.
  • Make a new Query within the Design View.
  • Close the opened dialog box of Show Table.
  • In the query type, you have to choose the Pass-Through.
  • Make a right-click on the Query tab and tap to the SQL View.


  • In the opened Query pane put the SQL statement.

e.g: SELECT Col1, Col2, Col3 FROM Account

  • Hit the Run.
  • Now choose the ODBC driver data source from the dialog box of Select Data Source.

Fix 4: Set Other Field Properties


All types of formats don’t work well with all variants of data types. So always set the data type first and then only set its format.

  • In the grid design table, choose the field first, for which you need to set the field properties.
  • You will see that Access will show the field’s property in the Field Properties.
  • According to the data type, field property is assigned.
  • Within the Field Properties pane, make settings that you want to apply for each of the field property.

set field properties

  • Alternatively, just press the F6 button from your keyboard and for selecting the property using the arrow key.

Note: Get more information about the data types and field properties that is available for each kind of data type.

  • To assign extra space for adding or modifying the property settings within the property box. Just press the SHIFT+F2 key from your keyboard as this will open the Zoom box.
  • For saving all the changes you have made, don’t forget to press the CTRL+S button.

Fix 5: Change A Field’s Data Type

You have the option to change several aspects of the field after making it.


 You can also change these aspects of a field that you did not just create. However, if data already exists in the field some actions will not be available or may cause data loss.

  • From the table design grid, choose the field for which you need to apply the data type.
  • Now from the column of the data type, choose the data type from the drop-down list.

Change A Field Data Type

Check out the article on Data types for Access databases to get complete detail about the list of all available Access database data types.

Wrap Up:

Now that you know in MS Access you can only define up to 255 fields only. Moreover, Access won’t release the deleted field counting’s from internal column count. Also for each and every field property that you modify, Access counts it as a new field and increases the internal column count.

So now you know where the problem is and how to deal with it. Try all the above-given fixes to resolve MS Access Too Many Fields Defined error.

Don’t forget to share your opinions with us regarding the solution discussed above.

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Pearson Willey is a website content writer and long-form content planner. Besides this, he is also an avid reader. Thus he knows very well how to write an engaging content for readers. Writing is like a growing edge for him. He loves exploring his knowledge on MS Access & sharing tech blogs.