Microsoft Access databases have a habit of ballooning in size when a lot of deletes are done to a table.

On a regular basis, you will want to compact and repair the database. When a record is deleted from a table, the space is still marked as being used. The compact process simply releases the space back to the operating system. The repair process is a preventative measure mostly, and doesn't necessarily need to be done. Access databases are prone to corruption if they get too large or are used extensively in a multi-user environment. If there are problems opening the database or viewing the data, the repair process may be able to repair the corruption to the database file.

If you have Microsoft Access:

  1. Open the database in Access.
  2. Click on "Tools"
  3. Click on "Database Utilities"
  4. If you have Access 2000, click on "Compact and Repair Database..."
  5. If you have a version prior to 2000, the Compact and Repair are two separate options

If you do not have Microsoft Access:

  1. Open the Visual Data Designer.
  2. Click on "File"
  3. Click on "Compact MDB..."
  4. Click on "7.0 MDB..."
  5. Select the database to compact
  6. Click on "Open"
  7. Select the database again
  8. Click on "Save"
  9. You will be prompted to replace the database.
  10. Click on "Yes"
  11. You will be prompted to encrypt the database.
  12. Click on "No"
  13. You will be prompted to open the database.
  14. Click "yes" if you wish to work on the database.