MS Access Update Query Not Working Issue – How to Fix It!

Microsoft Access users often update their data in the queries and forms of databases. But sometimes, users fail to update query in Access from another table for unexpected reasons. This can be frustrating and it is vital to understand why MS Access update query not working and how to fix this issue to maintain the integrity & efficiency of your database acts. All the crucial information about this problem is covered in this post.

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What Is Update Query In MS Access?

An update query is a type of action query that is used to change a set of records as per the criteria you set into it. As this is a fundamental part of the relational database you can easily make modifications in numerous records simultaneously. Update Queries helps you to modify the field data or table fields.

The user has the option to make modifications in the records by using the filter (e.g. WHERE clause). Apart from this, they can also link one table to many other tables and queries.

Why Is My Query Not Updating in Access?

MS Access update query fails to change the table’s data in the database due to various reasons, including:

  1. Read-Only- The first reason is that your Access database file is made “ReadOnly”.
  2. Lack of Permissions to File Access- If you are working with Access workgroup security, maybe you don’t have permission to edit any data.
  3. Locked Records- Records that are locked by another user can prevent an update query process.
  4. Incorrect Syntax- If the syntax of the UPDATE query is incorrect, you won’t be able to update your data.

To know how to fix Access update query does not work, proceed to the next section.

Also Read: Access Can’t Append All The Records In The Append Query Error

How to Fix MS Access Update Query Not Working Issue?

Follow these tricks to overcome this hectic situation effortlessly:

Solution 1- Check the Query Syntax

Since you are working with the Access query to perform this task so, it is vital to first check the syntax of your query. Make sure there are no missing fields in the syntax or no typographical bugs.

Solution 2- Remove Read-only Attribute From Access Database Files

If your Access database accdb/mdb file is read-only then it’s impossible to perform a write operation on it. To enable the addition or updating of records in the database again you have to first remove the ReadOnly attribute. To do so, you have to follow the below steps:

  • Launch the File Explorer.
  • Look for the Access database & right-click on it.
  • After that, choose the Properties.


  • Under an Attributes section, unselect a Read-only checkbox.
  • At this time, click OK to apply all changes.
  • Finally, check if you’re able to update the Access database.

MS Access Update Query Not Working

Solution 3- Check the Locked Field to Fix MS Access Update Query Not Working

Sometimes, the locked field within the Access database table can lead to this problem. However, you can solve this issue by checking ‘Locked Field’ property in the table.

Here are the complete steps to do so:

  • Open Access database then right-click on a table that is showing the error.
  • Choose Layout View >> Select a field in which you are unable to update data.

Check the Locked Field

  • Now, find and click on Property Sheet, which you can see in the right-hand corner.
  • Under Property Sheet, tap Selection Type: Text Box dropdown >> choose the suitable option (e.g. First Name).

Check the Locked Field

  • Next, click on Data option >> check Locked and ensure it must be set as No.

Now, check if the update query in Access from another table problem is fixed.

Also Read: Fix Access Database Error 3078 – “Can’t Find The Input Table Or Query”

Solution 4- Cut Off All The Exclusive Connection Of Your Database

If your Access database connection is opened, disconnect it immediately. The reason is, that if your database remains open exclusively you are not allowed to open any other connection nor you can change any records. So, whenever you try to execute any new SQL queries. Don’t forget to check your code whether you are disconnected from the database or not.

In case you can’t disconnect from your database, use the same connection for other purposes instead of creating any new connection.

Solution 5- Shift the Database File to Trusted Location

Microsoft Access update query does not work issue may also occur if your DB is saved in an untrusted folder. However, you can tackle this situation by moving the database file to a trusted location.

To do so, follow these steps:

  • Open Access, click File>> Options >> Trust Center.
  • Then, click on the Trust Center Settings >> Trusted Locations.

Access Update query not working

  • Under Trusted Locations sector, check the “Allow Trusted Locations on my network (not recommended)” field to set up the network location.
  • Now, click on Add New location >> select the chosen path in MS Office Trusted Location >> tap OK.

Trust Center Settings

  • Finally, shift the DB file to the recently added location.

Solution 6- Use Access Repair to Fix Access Database Query Corruption

To fix Access query corruption, it is recommended that you take the help of a professional MS Access Repair And Recovery Tool through which you can easily repair and recover your Access database from all types of corruption and errors.

With the help of this tool, you can just sit back and relax from the worry of losing your critical data. This tool can restore all data and database objects with all queries, table data and objects, primary keys, table structure, and so on.

* 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.

Hence, if you want to retrieve MS Access queries, download this Access repair and recovery tool now.

Steps to Use This Tool:

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Unique FAQs:

How Does UPDATE Query in Access Work?

An UPDATE query in Access databases helps to add, change, or delete the data from an existing record.

Which Query Is Used to UPDATE?

The SQL UPDATE query is used to update the existing record within the database table.

What Is the Syntax for UPDATE Query?

Syntax to update query in Access is- UPDATE table_name SET column1 = value1, column2 = value2,…, columnN = valueN WHERE [condition];

Also Read: Microsoft Access Could Not Lock File- Here’s How to Fix It!

Wrapping Up

Resolving issues with MS Access update query add to existing value involves understanding the roots of failure and implementing the best resolutions for query design & database maintenance. However, by following the troubleshooting steps specified in this write-up, you can easily fix problems with the Access query and ensure your database runs smoothly.

Thanks for reading!

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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.