Restore a database

To restore a database, you must already have a backup copy of your database.

A backup is commonly referred to as a "known good copy" of a database file — a copy in which you are confident of its data integrity and design. You should use the Back Up Database command in Microsoft Office Access to make backups, but you can use any known good copy to restore a database. For example, you can restore a database from a copy that is stored on a USB external backup device.

You can restore an entire database, or you can selectively restore objects in a database.

If you do not have a backup copy, you risk data loss and unwanted changes to or corruption of your database design. For this reason, you should make backups on a regular basis. For more information about planning and creating database backups, see the article Back up a database.

In this article

Restore an entire database

Restore part of a database

Restore an entire database

When you restore an entire database, you replace a database file that is damaged, has data problems, or is missing altogether, with a backup of the entire database.

  • If the database file is missing, copy the backup to the location where the database should be.

    Important: If other databases or programs have links to objects in the database that you are restoring, it is critical that you restore the database to the correct location. If you do not, links to the database objects will not work and will have to be re-created, such as by using the Linked Table Manager.

  • If the database file is damaged or has data problems, delete the damaged file and then replace the damaged file with the backup.

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Restore part of a database

To restore a database object, you import the object from the backup into the database that contains (or is missing) the object that you want to restore. You can restore more than one object at a time.

  1. Open the database to which you want to restore an object.

  2. If you want to restore a missing object, such as an accidentally deleted table, skip to step 3. If you want to replace an object that contains bad or missing data or has stopped working correctly, do one of the following:

    • If you want to preserve the current object — for example, to compare it with the restored version after you restore — you should rename the object before you restore it. For example, if you want to restore a damaged form named Checkout, you can rename the damaged form Checkout_bad.

    • Delete the object that you want to replace.

      Note: Always be careful when you delete database objects.

  3. On the External Data tab, in the Import group, click Access.

  4. In the Get External Data dialog box, click Browse to locate the backup database.

  5. Click Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database, and then click OK.

  6. In the Import Objects dialog box, click the tab that corresponds to the type of object that you want to restore. For example, if you want to restore a table, click the Tables tab.

  7. Click the object to select it.

  8. If you want to restore more objects, repeat steps 6 and 7 until you have selected all of the objects that you want to restore.

  9. You may want to adjust the import options. In the Import Objects dialog box, click the Options button to review these options before importing your objects.

  10. After you finish selecting objects and setting options, click OK to restore the objects.

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