10 Ways to Fix Microsoft Access Database Won’t Open Issue

It is quite common to encounter “Microsoft Access database won’t open” problem when trying to access the database. It might happen due to various reasons like insufficient permissions, corrupt databases, etc. Regardless of the reason, the issue can be fixed with less effort.

In this optimized article, you are going to learn 10 workarounds to fix unable to open Access database successfully along with the major factors behind this issue.

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Why Does My Microsoft Access Database Not Opening?

Here we have listed the primary reasons that might lead to this problem:

  1. Due to Insufficient permissions
  2. Opening a database made with a prior version
  3. Corrupt Access database
  4. Incorrect file path
  5. When a database file is already in use
  6. Interruption in a network connection.

Now, let’s proceed to troubleshoot this problem with the best fixes.

How to Fix Microsoft Access Database Won’t Open Issue?

Fix 1- Repair Corrupted Access Database

When it comes to repairing the Access database manually, then there is no other option rather than using MS Access Compact & Repair tool.

So, here you are also recommended to use this Access built-in utility to repair corrupt databases and solve the MS Access database cannot open issue.

Here’s how to run this:

  • Open the MS Access program.
  • Then double-click on the Blank desktop database.
  • Choose the File option >> Close.
  • On a Blank Database, go to File
  • Under the Database Tools >> click the option “Compact and Repair Database”.

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Here, you need to choose the database that you wish to compact & repair >> click Compact.

After completion of the repairing process, a compacted & repaired database copy will be automatically saved on the location where your actual database is stored.

Fix 2- Convert the Old Database File Version into Newer Version

Suppose you have created a database file in an older version of MS Access and now trying to open it in the newer version, you can face this issue.

In such a case, it is a good decision to convert an old database (.mdb) into (.accdb) format or convert (.accdb) into (.mdb) file format.

Below find out the steps for converting MDB (Access 2000-2003) into an ACCDB file:

  • Open the MS Access app (2007 or later version).
  • Go to the File > Open.

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Choose a .mdb file that you need to convert (Access 2000-2003).
  • Again, go to the File menu >> click Save As >> Save Database As.

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Choose the file type of Access database >> select Save As.
  • Under Save As dialogbox, you have to enter the file name.
  • Then, click on

Once you are done, a new copy will be created in .accdb file format to open it.

Fix 3- Remove Damaged File Associations to MS Access

Well, associating files with a suitable program is a function of the file type associations. Hence, every file type in this is open with a default-related app that might open a specific file.

But, at times, the file associations go damaged, and due to this you might unable to open Access database.

Follow the below steps to know how to remove the damaged file associations:

Step 1- Run the Registry Editor

  • Go to Start menu on your PC.
  • Type “Registry Editor” in a search >> click Open.

Registry Editor

Step 2- Remove the Damaged File Associations

Once you’re in a Registry Editor, locate file associations associated with the Microsoft Access. There you will find several files in .mas, .mat and .mar. Choose a folder that contains Microsoft Access association & perform a delete function by clicking on Delete option.

Registry Editor

Fix 4- Check for The File Path

It might possible that the database file you are trying to open is currently not available in that location of your PC.

In such a case, you need to check the file path that Windows unable to access and ensure that the current location is accessible. If it is accessible, try the next method to resolve this issue.

Fix 5- Check & Grant the Required Permissions

Most of the time, it happens that users can’t open database on the server if a Microsoft jet database engine fails for creating a lock file.

However, if you do not have the required permissions of that folder in which a database is saved then it stops the Microsoft jet database engine to create a lock file. Due to this Access database can’t be used for shared use.

Therefore, ensure that you’ve full authorizations to read and write the folder. For this, you have to verify folder permission:

  1. First, make a right-tap on a folder where the database is stored.
  2. Choose Properties.
  3. Then, ensure that the below options are already enabled or not:
  • Read
  • Write
  • Full control
  1. If not, then immediately enable them >> click OK >> Apply.

Grant the Required Permissions

Fix 6- Disable Antivirus Software

In most cases, it has been found that antivirus installed or enabled in the PC troubles the users by displaying numerous errors and issues.

Thus, it might possible that the Microsoft Access database won’t open due to Antivirus software. So, consider uninstalling or disabling the antivirus app to access the database without any issue

Fix 7- Check Windows Registry

You can even troubleshoot this problem by checking your Windows registry. Here is how you can do so:

  • Press Win + R keys together to open RUN >> type REGEDIT
  • At this time, you’ll get Windows Registry. choose an MS Access key from an appearing list.
  • When you’re in an MS Access key >> open File menu >> select Export

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Now, choose your destination folder to export.
  • Simply give a new name to your backup file.

Fix 8- Remove Bad Sectors on Hard Drive to Fix Microsoft Access Database Won’t Open

Here, we are going to discuss three ways to remove bad sectors on a hard drive and make the Access database accessible.

Try them one by one to know which one works for you.

Run Error Checking

  • Go to Windows File Explorer.
  • Then, click on This PC>> locate the main hard drive of your PC.
  • Right-click on a hard drive that contains your inaccessible database >> select Properties.
  • Finally, go to Tools tab >> click on Check

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

Run CHKDSC Command

  • Press the Win + R keys together.
  • Type cmd in the Run dialog box.
  • Click on Command Prompt >> ‘Run as administrator.’

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Now, type chkdsc E: /f /r /x >> hit Enter. (Here replace E with the drive letter of your hard drive)

Format The Hard Drive & Make It Usable Again

  • Go to Windows File Explorer.
  • Then, click on This PC
  • Locate the hard drive & right-click on it.
  • Select Format. Then, set a file system as an NTFS.

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

  • Check the Quick Format option >> click Start.
  • Now, your disk drive is ready to re-use fresh.

Fix 9- Try to Open the Database in Safe Mode by Holding the Shift Key

When you open the database by holding the SHIFT key then many of the options that are set on a page of Current Database in Access Options box are bypassed.

However, to change such options, follow the below steps:

  • Open MS Access Database >> go to File
  • Then click on the Options. This will open Access Options
  • Now, click on the Current Database, & change settings for a current database.

Microsoft Access Database Won't Open

Please NoteYou might need to close & reopen your database to see the changes in the settings.

What If Manuals Fail to Fix MS Access Database Cannot Open?

Even after trying the above methods, if the issue still persists, it is likely that your Access database is corrupt. In such a case, you must go for a more sophisticated method which is- Access Repair N Recovery Tool.

This software is enough capable to fix corrupted .mdb & .accdb files successfully. Besides, this tool efficiently scans for corrupt files & repairs them in a few minutes.

* 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.

So, just download and install this tool from the above-given buttons and follow the below steps to know how it works:

Final Thoughts:

Many organizations rely on the Microsoft Access database app for numerous purposes. Hence, any error or issue in it can be bothersome. Microsoft Access database won’t open is one such issue that is often encountered by users.

Therefore, to get rid of it, we’ve specified both manual as well as automatic solutions in this post.

However, it is our recommendation to go for the expert tool- Access Repair N Recovery Tool if you want to fix the problem effortlessly.

That’s all…

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.