How To Fix Access Attachment Control Not Working Problem?


I have formatted three fields in my table for attachments.  I went to the MS web site and followed their directions exactly on how to add an attachment field to forms and tables.  All worked great until I tried to add an attachment on the form. That is, all of the fields on the attachment window are grayed out when I try to add an attachment from the form.  I checked the enabled property and it is enabled, but this is nonetheless occurring.  I also checked the properties on the form itself and there is nothing that I can see that would cause this.

The funny thing though is that when I go to the underlying table, I have no problem adding the attachment–that same attachment window is not grayed out when I go straight to the table to add the attachment.

Dealing with such similar MS Access Attachment control not working issue? But having no idea of how to fix this issue. Don’t get worried..!

As in this article, we will discuss every aspect of Access Attachment datatype and its related issue.

You will also get answers to all your queries like why Attachment control not working in Access. Most important of all how to fix attachment control not working in MS Access problem.

What’s The Use Of Attachments In Access?

Mainly access attachments are used for storing multiple files in just one single field. You can also store several different types of files in this attachment field.

Let’s understand it more clearly with an example:

Suppose you have a database of job contacts. Now, you can easily attach one or more resumes to each contact of your database record and can also add photos to each contact. All this you can do by using attachments in your Access database.

Access Attachment datatype is a great option for storing somewhat more than the basic information within a single field.

In spite of having so many advantages, it also contains several issues which you need to deal with meanwhile using it.

What Issues Do You Encounter When Access Attachment Not Working?

  • Access Attachment data type frequently results in bloating of the database, which makes it hard to manage.
  • Any problem in Attachment data types is also responsible for Access database corruption and it also put a negative impact on your performance.
  • For extracting and interacting with attachments that already exists in your database, you need to use the codes. Make sure you have the access to use them.

Another very common alternative of attachment data type is using the tried and tested formula for keeping up the file path with the name of the file along with the extension.

How To Fix Access Attachment Control Not Working Issue?

Well if your, Access attachment control not working. Or you are unable to use attachments in your database then try the following alternative fixes to get yourself out of this issue.

Fix 1# Try Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View

  • Open your Access table in datasheet view and hit the first blank column available there. If you are facing a problem in fetching the first blank column then search for “Add New Field” word in the header column.

Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View

  • Now tap to the datasheet tab, and get into the Data Type & Formatting. Hit the down arrow which is present just next to the data type option. After that click attachment.

Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View 2

  • Access will set the attachment data type for the field. And put an icon in the header row of the field.
  • In the shown figure you can see a new attachment field. You will see a paper clip icon in the field’s header row.

Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View 3

  • You can’t insert any text in the attachment field’s header row, by default.
  • It’s time to save all your changes.


You can’t convert a new field to some other data type. But there is an option to delete the field if any error occurs.

Fix 2# Try To Add Attachment Field In Design View

  • In the Access database navigation pane, make a right-click over the table in which you want to make changes. Now on the shortcut menu, tap to the Design View.

Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View 1

  • From the Field Name column, you have to choose a blank row and then assign a name for the Attachment field.
  • Being in the same row, tap to the Data Type, choose the Attachment option.

Adding The Attachment Field In Datasheet View 2

  • Save all the changes you have done.


You can’t convert a new field to some other data type. But there is an option to delete the field if any error occurs.

  1. Now tap to the Design tab and go to the Views. Click the arrow present under the View button. After that click the Datasheet View for opening up the table for use.

Fix 3# Try To Open The Attached Files From The Table

  1. Open your table in Datasheet view and double-click the cell used for the attachment field.
  2. Now in the opened dialog box of Attachments, just make double-click over the file which you want to get open.

The program which is associated with your file will start and soon it will open your attached file. Suppose you have attached an Excel file then it will open in Excel and so on.

Some of your image files may get open in the Microsoft Windows Picture.

If you are willing to do something more than making a right-click on the image after then hit the Edit option. This will start the program which is used for file creation only if you have that program already installed on your PC.

Fix 4# Repair Corrupt Access Attachment 

Sometimes Access attachments won’t work due to corruption. So in that case, use the Access Database Repair software which is particularly designed to repair corrupt or damaged MS Access database files. It comes with a powerful algorithm that scans even severely corrupted Access database files.

* By clicking the Download button above and installing Stellar Repair for Access (14.8 MB), I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the End User License Agreement and Privacy Policy of this site.

Here are some highlighting features of this tool:

  • It also has a highly interactive GUI that helps users to easily operate and repair Access database without making changes in the original structure of the file.
  • It easily restores damaged or corrupt tables, queries, indexes, and other data.
  • This tool can easily fix all minor and major database errors and problems of MS Access 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, 2000 on almost all versions of Windows operating system such as Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2003.
  • You have the option to opt for the Free trial version of this software to check the features and reliability of the software.


What Is Attachment Data Type In Access?

It’s a special kind of data type which allows its a user to add an attachment to some specific field along with the numeric or textual information.

If you wish to make fields in which you can keep information like a combination of attachment and text. For such cases using attachment data type is best to use.

However, this attachment datatype has also some terms and conditions to get used. Here are the guidelines which you need to follow while using the attachment datatype in Access.

  • Data that you need to attach must not be more than 256 MB in size.
  • If you want to edit, add, or delete the attached items in your database then do it only with the Attachments dialog box.
  • Once you hit the attachment option, a new item will start appearing in the reports or forms Reports toolbox. You can use it at the time of designing your database.
  • You can edit the already existing attachment if and only if the program which was used at the attachment creation time is still available on your local PC.
  • Compress all the files before storing them up in the database.
  • You can use the attachment present anywhere on the hard disk or over the network.
  • To use the attachments programmatically, you need to use the VBA code.
What Is The Diffrence Between Access OLE Object Vs Attachment

Attachments keep data in a more efficient way.  Previously, MS Access uses Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) for storing up the documents and images.

By default, this OLE creates a bitmap for each attached document or image. Those bitmap files are quite larger in size around 10 times bigger than the original one.

When you see the document or image from the database, OLE displays the bitmap image instead of the original file.

Whereas the attachments, open your non-image files and documents in their parent program i.e. in the Access database only. So you can make an easy search for your files and can edit it.

OLE needs a program known as OLE servers to function. E.g: if you have stored a JPEG image in your Access database. In that case, the PC in which you are running your database must have a program that is registered as OLE server for such type of JPEG images.

On the other hand, Access stores your attached files in its native format and you don’t need to install any additional software to view the images from your database.

Wrap Up:

The very obvious reason behind this Access Attachment Control Not Working issue is that you are not properly following the guidelines of using attachments. So use it attachment datatype carefully in your database and try the mentioned fixes to resolve the Attachment Not Working issue.

tip Still having issues? Fix them with this Access repair tool:

This software repairs & restores all ACCDB/MDB objects including tables, reports, queries, records, forms, and indexes along with modules, macros, and other stuffs effectively.

  1. Download Stellar Repair for Access rated Great on Cnet (download starts on this page).
  2. Click Browse and Search option to locate corrupt Access database.
  3. Click Repair button to repair & preview the database objects.

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.