I am intermittently receiving the following error if I leave MS Access 2016 open for a while*:

"There isn't enough free memory to update the display. Close unneeded programs and try again."

enter image description here

I am running a fully-updated version of MS Access Professional Plus 2016 (32-bit) on Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), on a PC with 16GB RAM.

When this error appears, MS Access is not consuming an inordinate amount of RAM, and there is still plenty of free RAM available (typically using only ~5GB of 16GB).

The error goes away if I close & re-open MS Access, only to return a while later.

Has anyone else encountered this issue and aware of a solution?

(*for example, an hour or so.)

  • Do you have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware installed?
    – fred_dot_u
    Feb 18, 2018 at 1:32
  • @fred_dot_u No (do you think this is malware related?)
    – Lee Mac
    Feb 18, 2018 at 12:51
  • mbam had a problem recently causing invisible excessive resource use. If you don't have the program, it's not related to your problem. I discovered it on my own by killing off individual processes until my resources "settled down," then learned that mbam knew about it only an hour previously. Perhaps you have another process doing something similar.
    – fred_dot_u
    Feb 18, 2018 at 12:55
  • Indeed background AVs have been notorious for being behind program bugs for decades. Jul 27, 2018 at 14:41
  • What is the amount of ram assigned? If I remember correct access complains far before limits (~600mb). As Office is x86, the maximum would be 2GB, Database is rebuld (e.g Export/LoadFromText). You can try reinstall Windows and Office, maybe sth, wrong there. Any unusual libaries? Tested on Office x64? Some post suggest changing default printer. Sep 4, 2019 at 14:47

1 Answer 1


Not sure if this helps but since nobody came up with something better I'll just throw it out here. Feel free to delete …

I had the following problem: My Access 2013 would not even start but gave me the error "A system error has occurred or there is not enough free memory" instead. In my case that happened on a Lenovo 520 with 16 GB of RAM and still plenty of space on the hard disk. In my case it turned out to be a faulty display driver for my nVidia Quadro 2000. As odd as that sounds, after deactivating the nVidia altogether (that notebook has Intel graphics as well) it worked like a charm. I then downgraded to a driver supplied by nVidia instead of the original Microsoft driver. It downloaded all by itself and voila, it kept working.

So that's not exactly the error message concerning updating the display, however installing a different display driver fixed my problem.

  • Thank you for your answer, however, in my case, I'm already running onboard integrated graphics and not a dedicated graphics card as you have described.
    – Lee Mac
    Nov 28, 2018 at 13:17

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