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MS Access is a relational database that was developed by Microsoft and used by organizations large and small. The database might have its limitations, but it remains one of the most efficient and easy-to-use management systems. Many businesses upgrade from Excel to Access when they realize they need more productivity, fewer errors and inconsistencies and the ability to make better decisions.

Another reason why companies make the switch is for enhanced security and control. Databases provide a central location for important information to be stored, managed and updated. Also, MS Access gives the option to encrypt data and password protect your database files. However, it is possible for database corruption to occur. While this is unlikely to happen, a few proactive steps can prevent corruption and save you a lot of headache down the road.

Most Common Sources of Database Corruption

There are many different ways that a database can become corrupted in Microsoft Access. Below are the most commonly cited reasons.

  • Software conflicts
  • Hardware failure
  • Virus attack
  • Accidental system shutdown
  • Multi-user access
  • Efficient database design

Preventing Corruption of Your MS Access Database

Prevention is always the best strategy. By making smart decisions, you can avoid corruption from occurring – as well as all the headaches that go along with it!

  • Check all equipment and hard drives on a regular basis to minimize the risk of hardware failure
  • It’s not recommended to run your Access databases on inherently volatile networks such as Bluetooth or Wifi
  • Restrict multi-user access as much as you can. If you can’t, split the front end GUI from the back end database to limit network users
  • Do not use unnecessary third-party software or plugins as they could contain a virus
  • Do not put Mac users and Window users on the same network
  • Shut down your Access applications properly each and every time. Do not use Ctrl-Alt-Del to terminate the application

Dealing with a Corrupt Database

If it turns out that your database does become corrupted, don’t panic. There are some steps you can take to recover the data, or you can give Arkware a call. As a Microsoft Access support company, we can help your business minimize damage and recover corrupt data.

The most common way to recover what was lost is to use the “Compact and Repair Database” function in Access. Here are the steps for doing so.

  • Open MS Access
  • Click Compact and Repair Database
    • In MS Access 2010 and 2016, find the Compact and Repair Database under the Database Tools ribbon
  • When the dialog box opens, click on the database you want to recover and follow the instructions
  • Generally, this tool works well for restoring damaged or corrupted data. If it is unsuccessful, you may need a third-party database repair tool

If you have additional questions on how to compact and repair a database, follow the instructions from Microsoft Office or give Arkware a call.