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Access Database is Corrupted – Microsoft Access Problem


This article explains the symptoms and causes for a corrupted Microsoft Access database, and what to do about it.


A corrupted database can lead to several problems including:

  • Database will not properly open without error messages or may not open at all
  • Records may contain incorrect data or irrelevant data
  • Functions within the database may not work (sorting, adding/deleting records, etc)


A corrupted database needs to be rebuilt. We always recommend making a backup copy of the database before attempting any work on it. Access has several tools built into the software to facilitate rebuilding a database. One of the most effective is the “Compact and Repair Database” function.

A common problem in manipulating the original file (after a backup is complete) is that Access has ‘locked’ the database due to other users accessing the same database.  Sometimes the ‘other user’ is a Windows service running (such as MCL).


Make sure all users including possible services are not connected. A reboot of the system will usually remove users. Using the Services Manager in Windows can help stop the services that might be locking the database. A reboot will not stop the services if the services are set to automatically start when the computer starts (this is the typical setting).

Additional Comments

Related Articles:
Rebuild a Database with the “Compact and Repair Database” Feature – KBA-01417-P0N4N6
Enable or Disable a Service in Windows – KBA-01212-V9N6Y4

Updated on September 26, 2017

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