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How To Fix A Broken Access Database Link

How to fix a broken Access database link

What causes a broken link?

As discussed in What is a split database, a well designed Access database usually has a back-end data file and a front-end interface file. The back-end data file contains the data tables, and the front-end interface file includes the the database queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules, with links to the tables in the back-end data file.

You will usually need to relink the front-end interface file to the back-end data file when a developer sends you updated front-end file, or when the location of the back-end file has been moved. The good news is fixing the broken link is fairly easy using the built in Linked Table Manager. This blog post includes step-by-step instructions for using this tool in Access 365 / 2019 and for Access 2016 or earlier.

Step-by-step:
How to relink the database using Access 365 / 2019

  1. Start Microsoft Access 365 / 2019
  2. Open the front-end database.
    If you get an error message, just click OK.
  3. On the ribbon, select External Data, Linked Table Manager.
    Launch Linked Table Manager
  4. Check the box in the Data Source Name column.
  5. Check the Relink button.
  6. Navigate to and select the back-end database.
  7. Click OK.
  8. If you see the following prompt asking if you want to relink the tables with different names, click No.
    Relink tables with different names? - click No.
    Access will update the linked tables to the back-end data file.
  9. Click Close to exit the Linked Table Manager.
    Close the Linked Table Manager

Step-by-step:
How to relink the database using Access 2016 and earlier versions

  1. Start Microsoft Access 365 / 2019
  2. Open the front-end database.
  3. On the ribbon, select External Data, Linked Table Manager.
    Launch Linked Table Manager
  4. Check the Always prompt for new location box.
  5. Check the Select All button and then the OK button.
    Access 2016 Linked Table Manager
  6. Navigate to and select the back-end database.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Close to exit the Linked Table Manager.
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