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Access Troubleshooting Checklist
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Facebook Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   7/20/2020 8:40:40 AM

I get emails all the time from people with Access issues. All of the problems and questions from many of you have inspired me to start this: the Access Debugging and Troubleshooting Checklist.

I know I've pulled my hair out with strange Access problems that sometimes seemed to get fixed by the strangest things. I went nuts one day trying to fix a bug and it turned out I just needed to reboot the PC. Low system resources can cause any number of problems, including forms not opening, reports not printing right, etc.

So, here's my list of troubleshooting tips when you've got that Access problem that just will NOT go away...

Backup First. My standard disclaimer applies. Before doing ANYTHING with your database, you should always make sure you have a good backup. 'Nuff said.

Compact & Repair. Of course, the number one thing you should try with any Access database is the good old C&R. It's easy to do. From inside your database, go to Database Tools > Compact & Repair.

Restart Access. Close and restart your database.

Restart All Access Databases. Close and restart any and all Access databases.

Restart Office. Close and restart any open Microsoft Office Applications. They share DLLs so even a misbehaving Excel file can keep Access doing weird things.

Reboot the PC. That game you were playing last night might have eaten up your available memory. Those Recorsets that you DIM'd and forgot to set to Nothing at the end of your loop... yeah, you may have memory leakage or other low system resources. Give it a quick reboot. I know rebooting is a pain. Go get coffee.

New Database File. Sometimes ACCDB files get weirdly corrupted. Even after a C&R it might not be acting right. Create a blank new ACCDB file and import the misbehaving object(s) into it. If they work, the problem is a bad file. Proceed to import the rest of your objects until you find the culprit.

Compile the Database. In the VB editor window, go to Debug > Compile [Database Name]. You'd be surprised what bad code in one Module will do to another. Usually this just highlights syntax errors, but you'd be surprised sometimes. 

OK, that's it for now. I'll add more to this list as I think of things. Please feel free to add your ideas to this list. I'm going to be putting together a proper class on Debugging in Access eventually. I've covered the basics like "on error resume next" but we're going to spend a whole lesson on Debugging soon.

Get Help. If you need help with your database, I try to make myself available as much as possible to answer questions. Your first line of support is the Access Forum. Post your problem there. I try to check them as much as I can, plus Alex and some of the other students help out a lot (and I'm super appreciative of that!). Beyond that, if you need help with your database and you need it fast, visit my TechHelp page or my Consulting page. If it's business critical, I'm here for you. 

 

Repair / Reinstall Office Link 
Alex Hedley    
Mon 7/20
Control Panel | Programs and Features
Has a new patch been released? Might fix the problem
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