Open an Access database

  1. On the File menu, click Open Button image.
  2. Click a shortcut in the left side of the Open dialog box, or in the Look in box, click the drive or folder that contains the 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.) that you want.
  3. In the folder list, double-click folders until you open the folder that contains the database.

If you can't find the database that you want to open, click Tools on the toolbar in the Open dialog box, and then click Search Button image. In the Search dialog box, enter additional search criteria.

  1. Do one of the following:

 Note   You can directly open a data file in an external file format such as dBASE, Paradox, Microsoft Exchange, or Microsoft Excel. You can also directly open any ODBC data source (ODBC data source: Data and the information needed to access that data from programs and databases that support the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) protocol.), such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft FoxPro. Access automatically creates a new Access database in the same folder as the data file and adds links to each table in the external database.


  • To open one of the last several databases you had open, click the file name at the bottom of the File menu. Microsoft Access opens the database with the same option settings it had the last time you opened it. If the list of recently used files isn't displayed, click Options on the Tools menu, click the General tab, and then select the Recently used file list check box.
  • To view a list of shortcuts to databases that you have opened previously, click My Recent Documents on the left side of the Open dialog box.
Applies to:
Access 2003