How to Repair Access Database that is in an Inconsistent State?

Summary: This blog outlines the possible reasons behind the ‘’Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state’ issue and discusses workarounds to fix the issue. It also suggests using Stellar Repair for Access software to restore the database to its original form without data loss. Try the software demo version to verify its functionality and accuracy.

How to Repair Access Database that is in an Inconsistent State?

When MS Access detects inconsistencies in a database file, it may prevent you from opening the file and throws the error message: “Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state.”

Figure 1 – MS Access Database in Inconsistent Stage Error Message

When you click OK in the error message window, Access tries to repair the damaged or corrupted database file. Nonetheless, if MS Office Access fails to repair the database, you may see error: “The database ‘xxx.mdb’ can’t be repaired or it is not a Microsoft Access database file.”

This error message clearly states that MS Access has failed in its attempt to repair the MDB database file.

What Causes ‘Access Database in Inconsistent State’ Error?

Following are the possible reasons that can result in the ‘Access database inconsistent state’ error:

  • If you’re using Data Access Objects (DAO) to open the database from VBA code, you can face the error code 3343 “Unrecognized database format error.”
  • If your database is stored on a network file share and is used by multiple database users simultaneously.

Workarounds to Fix the ‘Access Database Inconsistent State’ Error

Following are some effective workarounds you can try to repair the MS Access database that is in an inconsistent state.

Workaround 1 – Disable Leasing on the System where the Shared Database is Stored

Note: This workaround applies to Access 2019, 2016, 2013, and Access for MS Office 365.

According to Microsoft, the users can fix the issue by disabling leasing on the machine where the shared Access database is stored. Here are the steps to do so:

  • Click the Start button on Windows, and type Command. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • Copy and paste the following into the command prompt window:
REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters /v DisableLeasing /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f NET STOP SERVER NET START SERVER
  • Exit the command prompt window.

After performing these steps, try to open your Access database. If you are still getting the ‘Access database in inconsistent state’ error, skip to the next solution.

Workaround 2 – Run ‘Compact and Repair’ Utility

Some Access users have reported that they were able to resolve the issue by running the Microsoft Access ‘Compact and Repair’ utility. The utility 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.

Note: You may have to run this utility several times to resolve the ‘MS Access inconsistent state’ error.

Select Compact and Repair Database Tool
Figure 3 – Run Compact and Repair Utility

Also Read: Compact and Repair Access Database is not working – How to Fix It

Workaround 3 – Run ‘Compact and Repair’ Utility using Command Line Switch

If your Access db is not opening, try running the Microsoft Access ‘Compact and Repair’ utility by using command line switch. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on Windows desktop, click New, and then click Shortcut.
  • In ‘Create Shortcut’ dialog box, type the location of the Access.exe file in double-quotes. And then, type the command line switch for Access to compact and repair the target database. For example:

C: \pathtoAccess\msaccess.exe” “C:\pathtodatabase\database.mdb” /repair.

Note: Here, replace the pathtoAccess and pathtodatabase with the actual path of your Access folder and database.

If this doesn’t help resolve the ‘database is in an inconsistent state’ issue, try the next workaround.

Workaround 4 – Import Data to a New Database

If the ‘Compact and Repair’ utility fails to fix Access database corruption errors, create a new database and try to import a table into it. If successful, you can import all the tables into the new database. Follow these steps to import the database into a new database:

  • In MS Access program, click the External Data tab in the top navigation menu and then select the Import Access Database option.
Import Access Database
Figure 4 – Access Database Import option
  • In the window that appears, select the “Import tables, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database” option and press the OK button.
Get External Data Access Database
Figure 5 – Get External Database Option
  • In ‘Import Objects’ dialog box that opens, select the database objects you want to import into the new db and then click OK.
Figure 6 – Import Objects

Workaround 5 – Use Stellar Repair for Access Software

If none of the above workarounds works for you, using an Access database repair tool, such as Stellar Repair for Access can help you repair database inconsistencies and restore the database to its original form. The software supports MS Access 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002, and 2000.It is compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, 2003, and XP.

The software can repair corrupt or damaged MS Access database and recover all its objects successfully. 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.

You can watch the software video below:


You can try implementing the workarounds covered in this blog to repair the Access database that is in an inconsistent state. However, to save time and hassle of troubleshooting all the manual workarounds to repair the Access database file, try using Stellar Repair for Access software. The software can help you fix the inconsistent Access database issue and restore the database to its original, intact form.

  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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