4 methods to fix Unrecognized Database Format in MS Access

Madeleine Dean By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read
Unrecognized Database Format

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If you’re getting the error ‘Unrecognized Database Format’ when trying to access your Microsoft Access databases, we got your back. We found 4 potential fixes for this issue. In this guide, we’ll list the steps to follow so that you may quickly get rid of this error message.

Solutions to fix ‘Unrecognized Database Format’ errors

Method 1: Use the auto-repair option

  1. Launch Access > go to Database Tools.
  2. Select the Compact and Repair Database optionRepair Database access
  3. A new window will open. Select the database file that you want to repair (the file triggering this error code).
  4. Hit the Compact button to launch the repair process.

Additionally, you may also want to check out our guide on how to fix Microsoft Access file corruption issues. Hopefully, some of the fixes listed in that guide will work for you.

Method 2: Edit columns with names greater than 32 characters

Another quick way to fix this error is to open the problematic files in Microsoft Access and then edit all the columns with names that have over 32 characters.

Sometimes, if you use too many characters, Access may fail to load the respective files correctly. Of course, this method is suitable for small files. Doing these changes manually on large files takes too much time.

Method 3: Convert database to .accdb file format

The third fix consists in converting your database to the accdb format. However, in order to use this fix, you need Microsoft Access 2010. Simply open the problematic files and MS Access 2010 will automatically convert the respective files to the .accdb extension.

Method 4: Uninstall recent updates

If this problem appeared shortly after you installed the latest Windows updates, uninstall the respective patches and check if the issue persists. Sometimes, new Windows 10 updates may trigger various technical issues. For example, Windows 7 KB4480970 is known to trigger this error.

The simplest solution to fix this error is to uninstall the problematic update(s).

If you came across other solutions to fix unrecognized database errors, let us know in the comments below.

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