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As time goes by, it’s only natural that your database file is going to grow larger and larger. Some people assume that by deleting information, their database will shrink down, but it doesn’t work this way. Access doesn’t just remove the space once occupied by your queries and records. That space still remains in the database, which can leave it much larger than it needs to be. 

The problem with large databases is that they don’t perform as well as smaller ones. They take longer to load, and you want your queries and reports to run as fast as possible. Also, if the database is not regularly compacted, it’s more likely to be corrupted. Fortunately, it’s easy to compact your database so that it runs more efficiently. 

Introducing the Compact and Repair Command

The Compact and Repair Command removes excess from your database. Ideally, you should use this tool once a week or after making design changes. Here’s how to use this tool: 

  • Open the database and click Database Tools on the Ribbon.
  • Click the Compact and Repair Database button from the Tools group. 

Using this tool, you’ll see a status bar that lets you know how the compact process is progressing. When the progress bar is gone, this means the compact process is complete. In return, you get a much neater, faster and stable database file. If you’ve split your database, keep in mind you’ll have to compact both the front- and back-ends of the database. 

What if You Want to Compact Your Database Automatically? 

If you prefer to compact your database every time you close it, there is a way to do this. Some people like this option because the work is done for them automatically. Here are the steps to follow to set up this feature: 

  • Click the File tab on the Ribbon.
  • Click the Access Options button in the menu bar. 
  • Click Current Database from the list.
  • Check the Compact on Close box.
  • Click OK to save the changes.

One word of caution. When using Compact on Close, it’s for the front-end file only. Do not use Compact on Close on the back-end file because it can cause corruption if another user is working on the back-end at the same time. 

Still Having Trouble? Contact Arkware 

Compacting your database is how you get rid of the allotted space that your records and queries once took up. It’s important to compact your files often as this allows your database to run efficiently and reduces the risk for corruption. If your database is still running slow, contact Arkware for a more thorough look at your database.