A common problem with inheriting Microsoft Access databases from other people is that you might not be able to get into the database without the startup form loading. You also might not be able to get to the database window to make any changes.

Now, assuming the database isn’t an MDE file (which is an encrypted database that you can’t modify), and the previous developer didn’t tightly secure it using the User-Level Security Wizard, you should be able to get to the database window by simply bypassing the startup routine.

Any Access developer can specify a startup form and even hide the database window in the database setup options. You can even create an AutoExec macro that runs too.

If you hold down the SHIFT key when you first start your database – as soon as you double-click the icon to open it – this should bypass the startup options and bring you right to the database window.

If not, then the previous developer might have taken additional steps to secure the database. But, this simple solution will get you into 99% of the databases you’re going to come across.

If this doesn’t work, another easy solution you could try is creating a new, blank database and just importing all of the objects from the old database. You’ll get all of the tables, queries, forms, and reports (and macros/modules too if you select them) but you won’t have any of the database properties, such as the startup options. Just don’t import the AutoExec macro if it exists.