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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Question Unanswered: How can I log into an Access database as Administrator so I can modify the database?

    How can I log into an Access database as Administrator so I can modify the database?

    I need to make design changes to a database that was created by somebody else.
    When I open a form in design view I get this message:

    “You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time. If you make any changes, you may not be able to save them later.”

    When I ignore this message and open the form in design view anyway the next message I get is this:

    “You don’t have permissions to modify ‘form name’.
    To modify this object, you must have Modify Design permission for it. If the object is a table, you must also have Delete Data and Update Data Permission for it.
    Do you want to open as read-only?”

    What do I need to do so I can make design changes?
    Note: When I open the database I hold the shift button down so I can have access to design.

    When I try to view and change my user permissions in Tools/Security/User and Group Permissions I get this message:
    “You can’t view this object’s permissions. …..”

    How can I login as Administrator so I can modify this database?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    The Bottom of The Barrel
    Provided Answers: 1
    Who made the database?

    You are better off taking the human approach to getting access then trying to hack it open, which is what you're proposing.

    That security exist(s/ed) for a reason. Talk to the person who made it.
    oh yeah... documentation... I have heard of that.

    *** What Do You Want In The MS Access Forum? ***

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I'm not trying to "hack" it open. I work here and this is a project given to me to add new stuff to the forms.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Try this. Create a new blank database. Create a new security table (through the Workgroup Administrator item in the Database Utilities/Security menu) and "join" it, so that it applies to your database. Then open the other database and export each object to the new database. Then you can set yourself up as Owner and make whatever changes you want. Very tedious, but what options do you have ! ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Madison, WI
    NO!! Don't implement MSAccess Security!!

    The reason you are getting this message:

    “You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time. If you make any changes, you may not be able to save them later"

    is because someone else is in the mdb file!! If you ignore this message, you'll get the next messages you posted when trying to save.

    You can't make design changes on an mdb form and save them while someone else is in that same mdb file and using it. You'll get the same error if you're trying to edit the table design and someone else has that table open (via a form, query, etc...)

    You must make sure EVERYONE is out of the mdb file before you get into it to make any design changes. Otherwise you can easily corrupt the mdb file (you should also compact/repair it occasionally.) If there is an *.ldb file in the same folder, someone else is in the mdb file and you shouldn't open that same mdb to make design changes!! If you do open and try to design, MSAccess gives you a nice warning "You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time...."

    (this is where you setup a "Development"/"Deployment" type system (ie. folders) if you need to periodically edit mdb files which users need to also open simultaneously.) You make your design changes on the (frontend) mdb file in the "Development" folder and then copy the new frontend mdb file to the "Deployment" folder (when everyone is out of the frontend mdb file - ie there's no *.ldb file in that folder.) You must also make sure you have a frontend/backend mdb file (where the tables are in the backend mdb and "linked" into the frontend mdb file) - then you don't have to worry about transferring of any data when you copy the new frontend mdb file (you just refresh the linked tables if necessary after copying the new frontend).

    I'm guessing there were no security permissions implemented (unless you also have an mdw file). If you DID implement mdw MSAccess security permissions trying to get into the mdb to override the above problem, now you've got a NEW problem (ie. MSAccess security and an mdw file.)

    If there was no *.ldb file in the folder before you opened it for designing, then you're most likely dealing with MSAccess permissions (but you will not get this error: "You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time"!) - instead it will say something to the effect of permissions (not access to the mdb).
    Last edited by pkstormy; 08-23-09 at 20:21.
    Expert Database Programming
    MSAccess since 1.0, SQL Server since 6.5, Visual Basic (5.0, 6.0)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    PKstormy should look at that again. I copied the database and the .mdw file from the server to my desktop to make changes without interrupting the users, and I still got that message. It is because the person who made it restricted rights to everyone but him. At Teddy, people come and go in businesses just like this one, the maker was let go from this company, so hacking into something someone left for someone else to clean up is becoming reality, as I am sure you are aware. Thanks Jim Wright, that is the sanest answer I heard so far. I am in the same boat, only he created logins for the users, so I am struggling trying to find out how to create, delete, add users to this database, and get someone set up on a new machine. Also, I need to change permissions for someone who is already a user. I think Jim is right, need to remove users and permissions all together and restart from scratch. I am playing with the copy before going down that road first.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    out on a limb
    Provided Answers: 59
    there's two separate messages
    “You do not have exclusive access to the database at this time. If you make any changes, you may not be able to save them later.”
    means that you are attempting to make changes to an Access applciation (form, report, tables, queries etc) whilst someone else has the applciation open
    ..bad idea as it means you are developing on a live database application object. changes should be made in a separate access file, and once tested and proved applied to ta live application file. an ideal (Access) world you have a minimum of 4 files
    a back end containing the data
    a front end containing the user interface (forms, reports etc)
    a duplicate of both those files as a development environment
    ..some may argue another set as a quality control test / QA environment before deploying to live / production status

    the rest of the messages the OP reported all track back to that initial attempt to make changes to a DB that someone else was in.

    what you are experiencing is a slightly different wrinkle
    Access used to implement security using a workgroup file (its been dropped from 2007 on), where the developer assigns specific roles to specific usergroups and users within those groups. if you havent' defined a workgroup then everything by default is assigned to the user 'admin' with a null password.

    if you are locked out of an applciation becuase of usergroup security issues then you need to do as Jim Wright suggested and copy all of the objects into a blank db, assign a new workgroup file and then reassing the security permissions

    you add / change user permissi0ons by changing the workgroup file. tools | secuirty |.....

    but before you contemplate changing the security make certain:-
    you read the MS Access Security FAQ.
    take a back up
    then read the MS Access Security FAQ.
    verify your backup works
    then read the MS Access Security FAQ.
    make changes
    do some testing
    then read the MS Access Security FAQ to find what steps you missed out
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Talking open the dbase exclusive

    ms access 2010
    close the dbase
    open Microsoft access from the start menu
    click on the file tab
    Click on [open]
    when the windows open dialogue box appears, go to the location of your dbase and highlight the file
    at the bottom right of the open file dialogue box is a button marked open with a dropdown arrow on it's right hand side.
    click on the dropdown arrow and select "open exclusive"
    that's all there is

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