I need to edit an MS Access database. It's split into 2 parts.

  • database.accdb which has a password and shows me the front end
  • database-be.accdb which is the back end and shows me the tables

I can open the front end file in Access and it accepts the password. However, I don't see any of the menus and options that I'm used to seeing when opening MS Access database. I can use it fine, but I can not make any changes to the front end forms. The only thing I have as far as menu options are this:

  • File (only Print, Privacy Options, and Exit)
  • Home

Nothing more. I'm assuming that even though it accepted my password it's locked somehow. How do I unlock it?

According to what I've been reading, there is a way to compile and lock down the front end. But that doesn't add up. If it was locked, I'd expect the file to be called .accde.

More details:

  • Access 2010
  • BE file size approx 2 MB
  • FE file size approx 6 MB

The more I think about it, there must be a 3rd file that I'm missing - FE source file. Or am I just not understanding how this fits together?


Have you tried holding down the shift key while opening the database? This basically allows the database to bypass any startup options that might be blocking you from editing the database.

Bypass startup options when you open a database

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Currently, I am developing and Access application in which I need to do the same thing you are currently trying to do. In my research, I have found that in order to secure your front end you must simulate a login instead of adding a password to the file itself. You can do this by adding a couple tables and a pop form with some VBA. This will allow you to not only have multiple users but logs for said users.

Also, your database may be locked because it is already open else where. For each user you have, they should have a copy of the front end connected to the backend on a networked drive.

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