How to repair Access database that is in an inconsistent state?

While Microsoft Access may not be popular or widely used as Word or Excel, it is one of the most powerful MS Office programs in some aspects, if not all. Being its user, you may have experienced that its capabilities exceed than that of Excel when it comes to the creation of databases for storing or managing data.

You may have also experienced that it is very easy to submit queries about information stored in the database, produce reports from it, or modify the data in it. However, all these do not make this database management system (DBMS) immune to becoming corrupt. And this can be due to quite a number of reasons such as mishandling, loopholes in the program itself, etc. Like any other program, you sometimes may encounter different error messages while working on it. Once such error is Error 9505 whose message is as follows:

“Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state.”

The screenshot of the error message is displayed below:

access database in inconsistent state

Figure: Error Message

When this error message prompts up, you can click on the OK button so that MS Access program tries to repair the corrupt or damaged database on its own. Nonetheless, if MS Office Access fails to repair the database, it will display Error 2317 whose message is as follows:

“The database ‘xxx.mdb’ can’t be repaired or it is not a Microsoft Access database file.”

Here, ‘xxx.mdb’ is the name of a corrupt Access database file. The screenshot of the message is as follows:

database cant be repaired error

Note – The meaning of this error is that MS Access has failed in its attempt to repair the database file.

What causes Access database in inconsistent state?

  • If user is using DAO to open the database from VB code, you can face the error code 3343 “Unrecognized database format error
  • If your database stored on a network file share and multiple database users are using it simultaneously.

Solutions to Repair Access Database in an Inconsistent State Error

The following are a few solutions that you can try to repair the MS Access database that is in an inconsistent state.

  1. Run ‘Compact and Repair’ utility in Microsoft Access which performs two functions. Firstly, it compacts the database by releasing the deleted space which is still held by the database and only serves to corrupt the database and fragment the stored data. Secondly, it tries to repair the database.
Compact and Repair

Figure: Compact and Repair Option

  1. Run ‘Compact and Repair’ utility by using a command line switch. You can use this if your Access database is not opening.

To do so, create a shortcut and then for the target, use: “C: \Program Files \Office11\msaccess.exe” “C:\pathtodatabase\database.mdb” /repair

Note: Here, replace the ‘two paths placed in quotes’ with the ‘actual path to your Access executable and database.’

  1. Create a new database and while keeping it empty, try to import a Table into it. If successful, then users can import all the Tables into the new database. This is suggested because there are some Access database errors that cannot be fixed by Compact and Repair utility. To import the database into the new database, follow these steps:
    • In External Data tab, select Import Access Database option.
      1. Import Access Database

        Figure: Access Database Import option

    • Now select the radio button “Import tables, forms, reports, macros and, modules into the current database.” and press OK button.
      Import data

      Figure: Get External Database Option

    • Select the database objects and press Ok button.
      Select database objects

      Figure: Import Objects

  1. Use Stellar Repair for Access tool that can repair inconsistent Access database. The software has the ability to repair corrupt or damaged MS Access database and recover all its objects successfully.

Download Button

In addition, it performs the following:

  • Repairs database saved in .ACCDB and .MDB files.
  • Restores Tables, Queries, Indexes, and Relations.
  • Repairs the Calculated Data Type and Linked Tables.
  • Restores all objects to a new database.
  • Provides the option to retrieve password-protected Forms and Modules.
  • Can restore deleted records to a new database.
  • Supports MS Access 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 & 2000 and is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, 2003, and XP.


You now know the various solutions available for repairing MS Access database in an inconsistent state. However, Stellar Repair for Access software is the best-fit access database repair software, as its benefits outweigh the benefits provided by other solutions. Moreover, it is an intuitive software allowing all types of users to run it easily and fulfill the purpose. It is in no way comparable to other solutions as it rarely fails to repair the Access database that is in an inconsistent state.

  1. Ken December 21, 2020
    • Eric Simson December 28, 2020
  2. Eugene May 25, 2018
    • Eric Simson May 25, 2018
  3. Shelby March 27, 2018
    • Eric Simson March 28, 2018

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