Recover Access Files with Access Database Recovery Software

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When it comes to storing, organizing, and retrieving large subsets of data, Microsoft Access is top of the class. It is a powerful database management system that combines Microsoft’s relational Jet Database Engine with software development tools and a graphical user interface. This allows you to create your own database apps in the format that serves your business best, customize these apps to grow your business, and integrate them with data sources, all of which doesn’t require you to be a developer. In order to recover Microsoft Access files, you will need to know the file extension name, which is either  .mdb for Microsoft Office Access 2003 or earlier and .accdb for Microsoft Office Access 2007.

Part 1: 5 Reasons Behind Microsoft Access Database Corruption

If you are an avid user of Microsoft Access, you understand that any damage to any of the files may cause widespread problems.  When trying to recover access database files that have been lost or damaged due to corruption, it is best to understand the reasons behind why the corruption would occur in the first place. This ensures that once you are able to get your files back, that the error does not repeat itself again. Here are 5 common reasons behind why Microsoft Access database files run into corruption problems.

There is a hardware failure or error causing files to become damaged or lost. This can be an error with where your Microsoft Access database is stored or where the files are stored themselves.

There is a software conflict.  Unfortunately, not all software plays nicely with one another. Sometimes installing new software or updating older software on the same hard drive as Microsoft Access, can cause a conflict between the two programs. This may result in damaged files over time.

Accidental deletion of files or improper formatting of media can cause file loss, damage, and corruption.

If a critical database specific file becomes damaged, this can cause wide scale corruption.  This often happens in large database files.

When you try to restore a database from an outdated backup copy can cause severe errors in the files during the restoration process.

Part 2: How to Repair Microsoft Access Database?

When Microsoft Access Database corruption happens and it isn’t caused by an error that the Jet Database Engine can automatically fix, you can either hand it off to an expert that can recover Microsoft Access files or you can try to handle it yourself if the errors are small enough.  With this said, here are 6 methods you can use to repair the Microsoft Access Database and recover Access database files.

  • 1. You can try to restore the database from a recent backup file.  Only do this though if you know that the backup file isn’t severely outdated.

  • 2. You can try deleting the .Idb file which gets automatically created by the Jet Database Engine.  This file is created on startup, when the database is opened, so deleting it may give you access to the database.

  • 3. You can use the Jet Compact Utility program which is designed to fix minor corruptions within the database. If your error is minor enough, this should fix it and allow you to recover Access files with the Access database.

  • 4. Use the Command Line Prompt to remove all compiled VBA code from the database.  Before you do this, you will need to know the installation path of your Microsoft Access program. Once you know this, type in something similar to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\MsAccess.exe/decompile.  Essentially, you are filling in the blanks for this coding C:\DatabasePath\FileName/mdb

  • 5. If you are running the 2010 Microsoft Access, you can use their built in Compact & Repair feature.

  • Open up Microsoft Access (not your file, just the program) and go to your Database Tools and find the Compact & Repair Database option.

    From here, you will want to locate the corrupted database file and run the Compact & Repair tool on it.

    If successful, the file will be usable after the Compact & Repair is finished.

    repair access database

  • 6. You can always try importing the corrupted database into a new 2010 Access Database.

  • Open up Microsoft Access and create a completely new database file.

    In the new database file, import the corrupted Access Database from under the External Data menu.

    You will need to select where you want to store the new database, and which objects you want to import. Make sure to select all database objects.

If the above steps do not work and you still cannot recover Microsoft access files, it is recommended that you try and use Access database recovery software.

Part 3: How to Recover Microsoft Access Files with Software?

If you are faced with lost, deleted or damaged Microsoft Access files, then you understand how frustrating it is in not being able to access your database. With the potential for widespread corruption through your database, getting it working again is of top priority. If the above methods haven’t worked for you, it may be time to try using a third-party database recovery program - AnyRecover.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:        

Recover over 1,000 different types of lost, deleted or damaged files, including Access files.

Allow you to recover from any storage device, it doesn’t matter where your database was stored.

Even if the hard drive is corrupted, this software is able to recover Access database files easily and quickly.

One of the highest recover ability rates on the market, 100% safe data recovery, and a 3-step process.

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How to Use AnyRecover to Retrieve  Microsoft Access Files:

Step 1. Head to the AnyRecover website and download and install to your computer. Once installed, launch the program and select the location on your computer from where lost data has occurred. Then click on the “Start” button to have the program run its scan.

select location

Step 2. Please be patient during this step as scanning for files through deep scans can take a while to produce results.

scan location

Step 3. Once the scan is complete, a list of files will show up. Find your Microsoft Access Database file in the list and recover it.  Please save the Access Database files to a location that is safe - so for example, if you know your files were damaged due to a hard drive failure, save the file to a different hard drive.

preview and recover

Bonus Tip: Backup Microsoft Access Database Files

Always make sure you are backing your database up.

Step 1. Open up your database and head to the File Tab and choose the Save As Option.

Step 2. When you click on the Save As Option, you will see an Advanced submenu to the right of it, choose to Back Up Database and click Save As.

Step 3. Specify where you want the backup to go.

When saving the backup, leave the file name as it was.


When it comes to creating and using large Microsoft Access Databases, don’t leave your data susceptible to corruption, loss, or damage. Make sure that you are backing up your database regularly, running the built-in utilities to fix minor errors, and using the latest Microsoft Access software version available.  It is also wise to make sure that before installing new software, you check to make sure that it will not negatively interact with your Microsoft Access Database.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Document Recovery

Updated on May 09, 2020

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