Convert an Access 2007 database to an earlier file format

If you created a database in the Microsoft Office Access 2007 (.accdb) file format, but you want to share the database with people who are using earlier versions of Access, in most cases, you can convert the database to an earlier file format by using the Save As command. This article provides the steps for converting a database to an earlier file format and discusses some of the factors that prevent you from converting a database.

In this article


Convert an Access 2007 database to an earlier file format

Do the following to create a copy of an Access 2007 database in a file format that you specify:

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, and then point to Save As.

 Note   If no object is currently selected in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The pane that appears when you open an Access database or an Access project. The Navigation Pane displays the objects in the database, and can be customized to sort and group objects in different ways.), the Save As command may be unavailable (it appears dimmed). However, the items on the submenu are still available.

  1. Under Save the database in another format, do one of the following:
    • To save a copy of the database in a format that can be opened by using Access 2002 or later, click Access 2002 - 2003 Database.
    • To save a copy of the database in a format that can be opened by using Access 2000 or later, click Access 2000 Database.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, in the File name box, type a name for the database file, and then click Save.

Access closes the original database and opens a new copy of the database in the format that you specified. Any changes that you make to the database affect only the new copy. To make changes to the original database, you must reopen the original database.

 Note   To convert an Access 2007 database to a file format that is compatible with Access 97 or earlier, you must first use Access 2007 to convert the database to the Access 2000 file format or the Access 2002 - 2003 file format. Then you use an earlier version of Access to convert the database to the format that you want. For example, by using the Convert Database command in Access 2003, you can convert an Access 2000 database or an Access 2002 - 2003 database to the Access 97 file format.

Top of Page Top of Page

Factors that prevent conversion to an earlier file format

Certain new data types and features can be used only in the Access 2007 file format and are not supported by earlier versions of Access. If your database contains any of these features, and you attempt to save it as an earlier version database, Access displays a message and does not convert the database. The following list describes factors that prevent conversion to an earlier file format:

  • Use of new data types or field property settings    The following new data types and field property settings are not supported by earlier versions of Access:
    • Multivalued lookup fields (lookup fields that have the Allow Multiple Values property set to Yes)
    • The Attachment data type
    • History-tracking Memo fields (Memo fields that have the Append Only property set to Yes)

You cannot convert the database unless you revise the database so that it no longer uses these features.

 Note   You can convert a database that contains Rich Text Memo fields (Memo fields that have the Text Format property set to Rich Text). However, versions of Access earlier than Access 2007 do not interpret the field as Rich Text. If any Rich Text formatting is present in the Access 2007 data, the text displays with HTML tags instead of the formatting in earlier versions of Access, as in the following example.

Original Rich Text Text as viewed in earlier versions of Access
This is an example. <div><strong><em>This is an example.</em></strong></div>
  • Links to external files that are not supported by earlier versions of Access    In Access 2007 , you can link to several types of data that are not supported by earlier Access versions. These include:
    • Tables in other Access 2007 databases
    • Microsoft Office Excel 2007 worksheets
    • Windows SharePoint Services lists

If your database contains links to these types of data sources, you must delete the links before you can convert the database to a file format earlier than Access 2007. One solution is to import the data instead of linking to it, so that the data is contained in the Access database itself. For more information about importing data into an Access 2007 database, click the links in the See Also section of this article.

  • Database encryption    Access 2007 uses a new password-protection method that is not compatible with earlier Access versions. If you add a password to an Access 2007 database by using the Encrypt with Password command (available on the Database Tools tab), you must first remove the password before you can convert the database to an earlier file format.

Do the following to decrypt the database:

  1. On the Database Tools tab, in the Database Tools group, click Decrypt Database.
  1. In the Unset Database Password dialog box, type the password that was used to encrypt the database, and then click OK.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2007