Select settings for how data is displayed and stored in your database

You can set general options for all future Access desktop databases by clicking File > Options, and choosing options from the General category in the Access Options dialog box. General options can be used to specify how some user interfaces are displayed to users or which default file format is used, or where database folders are located in the database user's computer.

Note: Setting changes made from the General category in Access might apply to other Microsoft Office programs that you have installed.

Note:  This article doesn’t apply to Access web apps – the kind of database you design with Access and publish online.

What do you want to do?

Set User Interface options

Set default file format and location for new database files

Personalize your copy of Office

Set User Interface options

Click File > Options > General, and then make your User Interface option changes. Note, if you're using Access 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button > Access Options > Popular.

  • When the Enable Live Preview option is selected, you can preview how a feature affects the document as you hover over different choices. (Access 2010 and higher.)

You can point to a command or option on the ribbon to see a screen tip about the purpose of the button and any available keyboard shortcuts for that option. To hide the screen tips, select a ScreenTip scheme that meets your needs from the ScreenTip style options:

  • Show feature descriptions in ScreenTips shows description of the button or option in the ribbon if you hover over the option.

  • Don't show feature descriptions in ScreenTips allows you to see the name of the option or feature but not the description.

  • Don't show Screen Tips does not display the name or description of buttons or options on the ribbon if you hover over the button or option.

When the Disable hardware graphics acceleration option is selected, Access won't be able to use the graphics acceleration capabilities of your computer to improve performance. (Access 2013 and higher.)

What is a graphics accelerator?

A graphics accelerator is a type of video adapter that contains its own processor to boost performance levels. These processors are specialized for computing graphical transformations, so they achieve better results than the general-purpose CPU used by your computer. These adapters free your computer's CPU to execute other commands while the graphics accelerator handles graphics computations.

Set default file format and location for new database files

After you set these format and location options, any new desktop database you create will use these default options. Select a version of Access for new desktop databases, a specific location on your computer for the new database folders, and a custom sorting order.

  • Use Default file format for Blank Database to set or change the file format that Access uses whenever you create a new database. If your database is shared by multiple users, consider the version of Access that is available on their computers so that they can access all the features in your database.

    Note: Be sure to close and reopen the current database for the specified option to take effect.

  • To set or change the default folder for storing new databases and files, in the Default database folder text box, type the folder name or click Browse to locate the folder.

  • Select New database sort order to change the default alphabetical sort order. The default option is set to General - Legacy. Note, in Access 2007 the default option is General. To reset the sort order for an existing database, select the language you want to use and then run a compact operation on the database. Be sure to close and reopen the current database for the specified option to take effect.

Personalize your copy of Office

  • Type your name, or the name of another user in the User name text box.

  • Type your initials, or the initials of another user in the Initials text box.

  • You can also pick an Office Background or Office Theme to use with your Access databases. (Access 2013 and higher.)

Top of Page

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×