How To Fix Unrecognized Database Format Error in MS Access

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  • Updated on January 10th, 2020

One of the frequently occurring Errors in MS Access is the Unrecognized Database Format Error. If you too are facing this Error check out the possible solutions and read this guide till the end.

Ms Access is one of the most popular Database Management System used in small and large database deployments; helping it’s users efficiently analyze data.Yet sometimes out to the blue user may get error messages “Unrecognized Database Format ACCDB” and ” “Unrecognized Database Format MDB(error 3343)” which is frustrating.These issues may also lead to severe data loss and database corruption if ignored or left unattended.

What is MS Access Unrecognized Database Format Error?

Unrecognised Database Error Fix This Error may occur due to a plethora of reasons, some of which may be:

    1. A Virus Infection causing corruption across the database.
    2. Outdated Server Packs of MS Access.
    3. Any Third-Party plugin is causing conflict with the Access Database.
    4. You are accessing a database file of a new version with old Access.
    5. Sudden system shut down during the Access Database still working.
    6. Bad Sector on the hard drive in which the database resides.

You can follow these steps to fix the urgent issue.

Solutions to fix Unrecognized Database Format Error

Method 1: Use the MS Access Auto Repair Option

      1. Open Access and navigate to Database Tools.
      2. Choose the Compact and Repair Database Option.
      3. It opens a new window, select the database file to repair.
      4. At last click on the Compact button to launch the repair process.

Method 2: Rename columns having more than 32 characters

Sometimes having too many characters in a column may result in MS Access failing to load the file. Renaming them fixes the issue.

Note: It may be suitable for small files, but in a large file may take time.

Method 3: Uninstalling latest updates

If the error starts popping up soon after a recent Windows update, then there is a chance of ambivalence amid the Updates and MS Access.

For instance, Windows 7 KB4480970 update seems to cause the inconvenience.

The simple fix is to uninstall the patches and check again if the problem persists.

Method 4: Converting Database to .accdb format

The fourth solution comprises changing your database to the accdb format.

To use this method, you are required to use Microsoft Access 2010.
Open the database files you need to repair and MS Access 2010 change the separate files to the .accdb format files.

Using the Recovery Tool to Fix the Unrecognized Database Format Error

If you aren’t able to rectify the error cause or still face the issue, then use an Access Database Recovery Tool.
These are the steps:

      1. Open the Software.
      2. Choose Access Database (MDB or ACCDB) file for Recovery in the “Browse” option.
      3. Select the appropriate recovery mode from “Standard” or “Advance.”Unrecognized Database Format Error
      4. Pick the MS Access Versions (97 – 2016) or select the Auto Detect option.
      5. Check the button “Show System Tables” & “Show Deleted Records.”
      6. Click on the “OK” button to start the recovery/scanning process of the file.
      7. Decide the folder hierarchy of the access database (MDB or ACCDB) file and preview the data.Unrecognized Database Format Error
      8. Select the recovered database of MS Access and click on “Save” menu then choose the location path or folder where you want to save it.
      9. Which recovers the MS Access Database file at the set location.

Benefits of using the Access Database Recovery Tool

      1. Repair MBD and ACCDB files effortlessly.
      2. Multiple recovery modes according to the severity of corruption.
      3. Fix data misalignment and header issues too.
      4. Recover OLE MEMO data and restore BLOB data too.
      5. It supports the recovery of multilingual data.
      6. It offers compatibility with MS Access 2019, 2016, 2013 and all major Windows versions.
      7. Easy to use GUI interface.

Summing Up:

The ” Unrecognized Database Format Error” is a fairly common issue and is most of the times solvable.It may appear while upgrading the system or accessing the database from other applications like the Visual Studio or corruption in the database.Once you know the conflicting event, it’s easy to apply the appropriate fix.

Some of the in-house methods mentioned above won’t work if the database is extensive in size or heavily damaged.In such cases going for an Access Database Recovery tool is an intelligent choice. As it comes with its own added benefits and is a one-time investment for your future database needs too.

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