How to Fix Access “This Object Was Saved in An Invalid Format and Cannot Be Read” Error?

Getting stuck with errors while working on important databases can be frustrating. One such warning message that Access users may come across when trying to open, save, or edit the forms & reports in the database is “This object was saved in an invalid format and cannot be read.” It appears due to Access database corruption and other factors. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the object was saved in an invalid format error, its causes, and effective ways to resolve it.

This Object Was Saved in An Invalid Format and Cannot Be Read

So, let’s get started…

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Quick Fixes:

What Does Access Error ‘This Object Was Saved in An Invalid Format’ Mean?

This error message is mainly encountered by Access 2016 users. It can also occur in other Access versions. This error simply indicates that that there is an issue with a file format or the Access program can’t read the objects such as forms, queries, reports, tables, etc saved in the database.

Situations in which this error occurs:

  1. When trying to open, save, or modify the forms & reports in the database.
  2. Attempting to export Access DB reports to other external sources.
  3. Running VBA code or macro to open the file or report in the database

Why Does It Say Invalid Number Format and Cannot Be Read?

Various reasons can contribute to Microsoft Access the object was saved in an invalid format error. However, the major causes are listed below:

  1. Incompatible software version
  2. Corrupted database file or objects saved within it
  3. Incorrect file format or extensions
  4. Due to a lack of disk space.

How to Fix MS Access “This Object Was Saved in An Invalid Format and Cannot Be Read” Error?

As you have identified the possible causes, now let’s explore the effective solutions to rectify the error:

Solution 1- Try Some Basic Tips

Before trying any complicated methods, it is always suggested to try some basic tricks first to overcome the situation. Here you have to do the same thing to get rid of this message.

  1. Restart your PC and Access app
  2. Disable activated antivirus software
  3. Get required permission to access the database
  4. Disable the faulty Add-ins

If these solutions fail, try further solutions.

Solution 2- Change File Format

Changing the file format is a first-rate troubleshooting step to solve the object was saved in an invalid format error. An incompatible file format with the Access version that you are currently using can be the reason for this error.

To change the file format to a compatible Access format, follow these steps:

  • In your MS Access database, click on the File menu.
  • Then, click on Save As and choose Save Database As >> Save As.

Save Database As

  • Now, enter the file name and select a file type to save the file >> click on Save button.

Change File Format

Also Read: Access Not A Valid Bookmark. (Error 3159)

Solution 3- Open Database Report(s) In A Design View

Sometimes, opening the database reports or forms in a layout view or design view can deal with such peculiar runtime errors and make the DB components accessible in Access. Follow the below steps to open the database report in design view:

  • Locate the report that you want to open in Design View and open it.
  • If the report isn’t already in Design view, go to View tab >> click on Design View to show the report in the Design view.

Design View

Solution 4- Free Up Disk Space

When your computer is running low or out of disk space, you may also receive this error. All you need to do is to free up some space on your system’s hard disk and restart your PC. This will ultimately solve this problem.

Solution 5- Fix This Object Was Saved in An Invalid Format Error by Uninstalling Windows Updates

Another handy method to overcome this problem is to uninstall the Windows updates. Many users have found this trick helpful in their cases to fix this error and the same they’ve reported it on the community websites.

So, if you have also installed any Windows updates recently then consider uninstalling them by following the below steps:

  • Go to the Windows Settings >> click Windows Update
  • Then, find and click on Update History.

Windows Update

  • Now, scroll down and click on Uninstall Updates >> choose the recent updates to uninstall >> click Uninstall.

If this solution fails to solve the issue, try the next one.

Also Read: MS Access Error 3259 – Invalid Field Data Type!

Solution 6- Repair Corrupted Access Database

As already mentioned in the causes section, corruption in the Access database or the objects saved within it can trigger this object was saved in an invalid format and cannot be read error. In such a situation, consider running a built-in Access Compact and Repair to solve file corruption.

Here are the complete steps to do so:

  • Open Access application >> go to Templates page >> click on the Blank Database.
  • Navigate to the File>> Close >> Database Tools.
  • After this, click on the “Compact and Repair Database.”

Compact and Repair Database

  • Choose the corrupted file in an opened dialog box >> click on Compact.
  • Now, you will get the compacted and repaired DB file saved in the same location.

If the Compact and Repair tool fails to repair the corrupted Access DB file, it is recommended to use the sophisticated Access Repair Software. This tool can efficiently repair the severely corrupted database file and recover all the objects like forms, queries, reports, tables, etc. saved within it.

* 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.

Solution 7- Importing Database File Objects into the New Database 

You can even import all the objects from a corrupted Access database file to a new database to troubleshoot this problem. To know the complete steps to do this, Click Here.

Solution 8- Updating Access

Running an outdated version of the Access program can also lead to this error message. To tackle this situation, consider installing the latest Access version and enjoying a seamless database experience.

Solution 9- Decompile & Recompile the Access Database

If you are receiving this error when executing VBA code to access the file or report within the database, you can decompile and recompile the database to fix it. Decompiling the Access database returns the database to its default state.

Steps to Decompile the Access Database:

  • Press the Windows + R keys together to open Run dialog box.

this object was saved in an invalid format

  • Then, type msaccess.exe /decompile >> hit the Enter key.
  • Once you have decompiled the database, consider recompiling it.

Steps to Recompile the Access Database:

  • In the Access database >> go to Database Tools >> click on the Visual Basic.

Visual Basic

  • Under VBA Editor, you have to click on the Debug and Compile.

That’s it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Are The 4 Objects in Access?

Tables, Queries, Reports, and Forms are the 4 objects within the Access database.

What Is the Default Format for Access?

ACCDB is the default file format for Access.

How to Fix Microsoft Access Unrecognized Database Format Error?

To fix Microsoft Access unrecognized database format error, you can either change the file format or free up the space on your disk.

What Should I Do If None of The Suggested Solutions Fix this Error?

If the error continues after trying the recommended fixes, you should immediately seek technical support or IT professional assistance.

What Is Not a Valid Data Type in MS Access?

The number is not a valid data type in Microsoft Access.

Also Read: Access Unrecognized Database Format Error (3343)

Packing Up

MS Access This object was saved in an invalid format and cannot be read error can be an annoying hurdle to overcome. However, with the proper knowledge and accurate approach, it can be easily fixed. The possible solutions are outlined in this article. By implementing those techniques, you can troubleshoot this error successfully.

Also, be sure to follow the precautionary tips mentioned above to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

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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.