Enable or disable sandbox mode

When Access runs in sandbox mode, expressions that use unsafe functions and properties are blocked. Unsafe functions and properties are those that could be exploited by malicious users to access drives, files, or other resources for which they do not have authorization. Expressions that use these functions and properties will result in an error.

For more information on sandbox mode, see the Access Help topic About Microsoft Jet Expression Service sandbox mode.

ShowEnable sandbox mode

ShowIf you have not installed Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later

  1. Install Microsoft Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 (SP8) or later.

For more information on downloading Jet 4.0 SP8 or later, see About Microsoft Jet 4.0 SP8 or later. A critical Windows update includes Jet 4.0 SP 8, so installing all the critical Windows updates will automatically install the latest version of Jet on your computer. If your computer is up-to-date on critical Windows updates, you can skip this step. To install critical Windows updates or to verify that all critical updates are installed on your computer, visit Microsoft Windows Update.

If you try to enable sandbox mode without installing Jet 4.0 SP8 or later, several Access features will not work properly. For example, trying to run the Form Wizard will display the following message:

Error message when trying to run the Form Wizard in sandbox mode

  1. Wizards may not start.
  2. Switchboards created by using the Switchboard Manager won't function properly.
  3. You can't use the RunCode macro action to call a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) procedure.
  4. Event handlers that call VBA procedures won't function.
  5. VBA procedures that are called from a property sheet or used in an SQL statement won't function.
  6. The following VBA functions won't work when called from a property sheet or used in an SQL statement:
    • FormatCurrency
    • FormatDateTime
    • FormatNumber
    • FormatPercent
    • InStrB
    • InStrRev
    • MonthName
    • Replace
    • StrReverse
    • WeekDayName
  1. Quit, and then restart Access.
  2. Open a file.

The warning will be replaced with a prompt that asks whether you would like to block unsafe expressions.

  1. Click Yes.
  2. When prompted to restart Access, click OK, and then quit and restart Access.

The registry will be updated, and Access will run in sandbox mode. You will not see the warning as long as Jet 4.0 SP8 or later is installed on your computer and sandbox mode is enabled.

ShowIf you had disabled sandbox mode, and want to enable it now

  1. Under the Tools menu, point to Macro, and click Security. If you do not see the Macro menu item under the Tools menu, or the Security menu item under the Macro menu, click the arrows at the bottom of a drop-down menu to display the hidden menu items.

Tip    If you want to see all menu items by default, on the Tools menu, click Customize, click the Options tab, and select the Always show full menus check box.

ShowI still can't see the Security command under the Macro menu

  1. On the Tools menu, click Customize, and then click the Commands tab.
  2. Click Rearrange Commands, select Menu Bar, and in the Menu Bar box, click Tools | Macro.
  3. In the Controls section, click Add.

The Add command dialog box will appear.

  1. In the Categories box, click Tools, and then in the Commands box, click Security.

The Security command will appear in the Controls box.

  1. Use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to position the Security command where you want.

If you'd like to position the Security command in its own group (between horizontal lines), with Security selected, click Modify Selection and click Begin a Group. Select the menu item below the Security command, and repeat.

  1. Click Close twice.
  1. Select Medium or High, and click OK.

You will see the security warning message box.

  1. Click Yes to enable sandbox mode, and then click OK. Access will close.
  2. Restart Access.

 Note   By default, security level is set to Medium, and sandbox mode is not enabled. So, if you have not changed the default settings, simply displaying and closing the Security dialog box, irrespective of whether you make any changes in the dialog box or not, will display the security warning message.

ShowDisable sandbox mode

You have the option of disabling sandbox mode when the macro security level is set to Low. However, setting the security level to Low is not recommended.

Applies to:
Access 2003