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Summary: The blog addresses the common yet frustrating “Access database unrecognized format error” that hinders productivity for MS Access users. It explores the causes of this error and offers manual steps to resolve it, such as updating software and repairing the database. However, for a more robust solution, the blog recommends Kernel for Access Database Repair, a third-party software that efficiently fixes the error and ensures database stability. Whether relying on Access for daily work or occasional tasks, readers are encouraged to take action and resolve this troublesome error.

In recent times, several Access File users have reported encountering error messages such as:

  1. Databases are repeatedly getting corrupt.
  2. Databases with error messages such as “Unrecognized Format” or even “Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state, and will attempt to recover the database …”

Users worldwide have consistently reported encountering these errors, highlighting the need to comprehensively understand the underlying causes of these issues and how to prevent corruption in Access database files.

What is Access Database Unrecognized Format Error?

While working with Access ACCDB/MDB Files in MS Access versions like 2010, 2013, or 2016, users often encounter Access Database errors. One common variation of this error is ‘Access Error code 3343,’ sometimes associated with the frxque32.mdb file when it becomes corrupt. Regardless of the MS Access version in use, the ‘unrecognized database format’ error can occur due to various reasons, leading to users being locked out of the database.

In certain cases, users may still perform specific database functions like compact and repair despite the error. However, it’s crucial to address and resolve this error to ensure database stability.

Causes Access Database Unrecognized Format Error

As mentioned earlier, the ‘unrecognized format’ error can arise from various situations. In this section, we aim to explain to our readers why this error occurs. The causes of this error are outlined below:

  1. In case the user is trying to open a database, file which is formed in a new version of Access with an older version of Access, he/she might have to confront the Database Unrecognized Format Error.
  2. The services pack used by the user might not be updated or latest.
  3. If the MS Access database file is corrupt as a result of the following:
  • Hardware or Software issues
  • Virus Attack
  • Multiple locks functioning on the database file at the same time
  • Unusually bulky database file
  • Bad sectors on hard drive upon which the database file resides.
  1. In case of a Microsoft Office malfunction
  2. If there are third-party plug-ins
  3. If there is not enough hard drive space
  4. If splitting of data is imperfect
  5. If the system suddenly shuts down while the MS Access database is open

Are you facing an “Access Database Unrecognized Format Error”? You don’t have to run to the Microsoft customer care for it. There are specific easy steps that you can perform to fix access database unrecognized format error.

DIY Steps to Fix Access Database Unrecognized Format Error

When users encounter the ‘unrecognized database format’ error persistently, the following steps can assist in resolving the issue and removing the Access database error:

  1. Firstly, open Access database on Microsoft Access later version which had been created.
  2. Next, convert the database to the earlier version of MS Access following steps provided below:
  • Open the database, and in case it is shared, the user needs to affirm that it is unopened.
  • Click on the ‘Tools’ menu. Point to the best database utilities.
  • Click ‘Convert Database’ and then press ‘To Access version File Format.’
  • Now, type the file name in the ‘File Name box’ of the ‘Convert Database.’ Click ‘Save.’

If the user attempts to open a corrupted file, he /she might get ‘Unrecognized Database Format’ error. For this, follow these steps:

  1. Restore the database for the database from the last working backup.
  2. Repair the database using the utility, ‘Compact and Repair’ then do the following:
  • Close database (In case it is shared, make sure it is not opened.
  • Backup database.
  • Click on the ‘Tools’ menu and point on the database utilities. Click the ‘Compact and Repair Database.’
  • Specify file name. Click the ‘Compact’ option from the database so that the user may compact in the dialog box.
  • In the dialog box which is named, ‘Compact Database,’ specify the compacted Access file name as well as the destination. Click ‘Save.’

If the aforementioned methods to repair a corrupt Microsoft Access database do not yield the desired results, another viable solution to fix the ‘unrecognized format’ error is by using third-party software, specifically Kernel for Access Database Repair.

Repair Microsoft Access database

The software helps in the following ways:

  • The Software easily repairs corrupt MS Access Files (including ACCB as well as MDB files). Moreover, the Software is capable of restoring files affected by all the different types of corruption issues
  • The Software allows the user(s) to preview the database table that has been recovered-right post-recovery. The Software displays all the tables (Comments, regions, etc.) along with the total number of records that are present within the table.
  • To add on, the Software permits the preview of files that have been recovered before saving them.
  • The software is created in a manner that makes it compatible with all Access files.
    Software usage is simple and involves two simple modes, namely; Standard and Template. The software works in the following manner:
  • Launch Tool and then Click on Select File or Browse to select the file to be repaired. Now, click on the Repair Button on the right-hand side of Select File
    Select File or Browse to select the file
  • The process of reparation begins.
    process of reparation
  • Preview File. And then Click Save
    Save the file
    (Please Note that the above procedures are all under standard mode.)
  • For Template Mode, use these steps:
  • Select template mode, select the File you want to repair. Click Open.
    Select template mode
  • Click Repair.
    Repair the file
  • Save File.
    Save File


The ‘Access database unrecognized format error’ can significantly disrupt the daily work routine of individuals who heavily rely on MS Access for their tasks. For our readers facing this issue and seeking a solution to fix the ‘unrecognized format’ error in MS Access Files, it’s time to take action. You can explore the manual steps provided or opt for the Kernel software for more effective solutions.

Kernel for Access Database Repair