Summary: This post talks about the ‘Microsoft Access database is an inconsistent state’ error. It outlines the causes behind the error and the solutions to repair an inconsistent state database. It also suggests an alternative to repair corrupt Access database and discusses about a workaround that may help avoid the error from recurring.

The error message "Microsoft Access is in an inconsistent state” usually occurs on opening a database that is stored on a shared network drive and is being used by multiple users simultaneously. The complete error message reads as follows:

“Microsoft Access has detected that this database is in an inconsistent state, and will attempt to recover the database. During this process, a backup copy of the database will be made and all recovered objects will be placed in a new database. Access will then open the new database. The names of objects that were not successfully recovered will be logged in the "Recovery Errors” table.”

You won’t be able to access your database until the issue is resolved.

What Do To Next?

Click on OK in the error message window. Microsoft Access will try to recover the problematic database. If it succeeds, it will display the following message:

If Access fails to recover your database, you can try to repair the inconsistent state Access database.

How to Repair an Inconsistent State Access Database?

Compact and repair the database to bring it to a consistent state. For this, perform these steps:

  • Close any open connections to the shared database.
  • Open your Microsoft Access application. Click on ‘Blank desktop database’ to create a new db.
  • In new database window, click ‘File’ and then choose ‘Close’.

  • In the window that pops-up, click ‘Compact and Repair’ from the ‘Database Tools’ tab.

  • Click Compact in the ‘Database to Compact From’ dialog box.

  • The compacted and repaired database will be saved at the selected location. Check if you can open the database.

Note: If the compact and repair method fails to repair the database, try using an Access repair tool such as Stellar Repair for Access to repair the corrupt database. It helps repair both .accdb and .mdb files. Also, the tool helps recover all the database objects, like tables, forms, reports, macros, etc.

While this may help you perform database recovery, chances are that you may still encounter the ‘Access database is in an inconsistent state’ error.

Workaround to Fix an Inconsistent State Access Database Issue

There is no permanent fix to resolve the ‘Access database is in inconsistent state’ issue. However, you can try to prevent the issue from happening again by disabling leasing on your system. This workaround is recommended by Microsoft.

Important! If you have split the Access database - the front-end db stored on a client system and back-end db on a network file server, disable the leasing only on the system hosting the back-end database. You don’t need to make changes to the leasing to each user's client PC.

The steps to disable leasing on the system where the shared database is stored are as follows:

  • Type Command in the Windows search box, right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ app, and select ‘Run as administrator’.

  • In the command prompt window that opens, copy and paste the following commands:

REG ADD HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\lanmanserver\parameters /v DisableLeasing /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f



  • Exit from command prompt.

This workaround will prevent Access from reporting the database in inconsistent state issue.


This post discussed about the ‘Access database is in an inconsistent state’ error that may happen when multiple users try to open a database stored on a shared network drive. Also, it explained how MS Access tries to recover the database in an inconsistent state. If it fails, you can compact and repair an inconsistent state Access database. If compact and repair doesn’t help recover the database, use Microsoft Services or  Access repair tool to repair and restore the database to its original, consistent state. Also, you may implement the Microsoft recommended disable leasing workaround to prevent the issue from occurring again.