Control the display of the Database window

You can change the settings that determine whether the Database window (Database window: In Access 2003 and earlier, the window that appears when a database or project is opened. It displays shortcuts for creating new database objects and opening existing objects. In later versions, it is replaced by the Navigation Pane.) is displayed when a Microsoft Access file (Microsoft Access file: A database or project file. In Access 2007, database objects and data are stored in .accdb files. Earlier versions use.mdb files. An Access project file doesn't contain data, and is used to connect to a SQL Server database.) opens. If you hide the Database window, you need to display a startup form or data access page (data access page: A Web page, published from Access, that has a connection to a database. In a data access page, you can view, add to, edit, and manipulate the data stored in the database. A page can also include data from other sources, such as Excel.) so that others can navigate in your application.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Startup.
  2. Do one or more of the following:

To display or hide the Database window when a Microsoft Access database (Microsoft Access database: A collection of data and objects (such as tables, queries, or forms) that is related to a particular topic or purpose.) or Microsoft Access project (Microsoft Access project: An Access file that connects to a Microsoft SQL Server database and is used to create client/server applications. A project file doesn't contain any data or data-definition-based objects, such as tables and views.) opens, clear or select the Display Database Window check box.

To prevent or allow users from displaying the Database window by pressing F11, clear or select the Use Access Special Keys check box.

  1. If you have cleared both the Use Access Special Keys check box and the Display Database Window check box, replace the File menu with your own custom menu. This prevents the Database window from appearing when users repeatedly open the same Access file from the list of most recently used files.


  • Changes to these settings in the Startup dialog box won't take effect until the next time the Access file is opened.
  • The Northwind sample database has a Main Switchboard form — an example of a form you might use to control navigation in your Access file. To view this form, open the Northwind database in your Microsoft Office folder's Samples folder. Click Forms Button image under Objects in the Database window, click Main Switchboard, and then click the Open button on the Database window toolbar.
Applies to:
Access 2003