Automatic Backup for Access Files

Do you have Access databases open throughout the workday, with people entering and editing data? In Access, data is saved automatically as you work, but it’s a good precaution to have a backup of the entire file, so you can recover if something goes wrong.

To make backups easy to manage, Jan Karel Pieterse has created the Access Backup Tool, available as a free download on his web site. I tested it in Access 2007 and Access 2003, and it worked well in both version.

Getting Started

Open the Access Backup Tool and the Menu form will appear automatically.

Click the Settings button, to open the Settings form where you can enter the information about your databases.


In the Settings form, enter the file path to each database, and the location where you want the backup stored.


Timed or Manual Backups

At the top of the Settings form, you can enter the backup settings.

  • For automatic backups, add a check mark to Timed Backup, and set the time interval for the backups. Then the backup process will run automatically, at the specified interval.
  • For manual backups, remove the check mark for Timed Backups.

Suspend Backups Overnight

If backups aren’t required overnight, you can suspend them during specified hours.

  • To stop backups overnight, add a check mark to Suspend backup. Enter the stop and start times for the backups.
  • To run the backups around the clock, remove the check mark from Suspend backup

Start the Backups

After you’ve entered all the settings, close the Settings form and return to the Menu.

Timed Backups

On the Menu form, if you opted for Timed Backup, you’ll see the countdown to the next backup. At the specified interval, the backup will run, and you’ll see a notice on the menu.

Leave the Access Backup Tool running all day, and it will take care of the backups for you automatically.


Manual Backups

If you’d prefer to run the backups manually, click the Backup Databases button, and all the selected databases will be backed up.


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7 Responses

  1. Hi Debrah,

    Thanks for the excellent description!

    There is some extra intelligence in the tool as well.

    If you set the backup interval to e.g. 2 minutes (which is overdone, I agree) and the backup takes 3 minutes, the tool will change the backup interval time to the time it took to process the backup ply 20%. So in this example, backups are re-scheduled to run each 3.6 minutes.

    I plan to add the possibility to select on which weekdays the tool should run as well.

  2. I have updated the tool so you can also pick a fixed time of day to do the backup.

  3. Brook Leonard says:

    Why doesn’t it back up forms? Is there a way to give the backup file it creates a timestamp in the file name?

  4. Raj Kumar says:

    This Backup Tool Not Working in Access 2007, It is prompting for DSN.

  5. biswanil says:

    how to create automatic backup in ms-office 2007?

  6. Erich says:

    I get the following error when I run the Access Backup Tool”
    Backup Error!
    Please help, I get the following error when I run the program:
    MS Access has generated the following error in Access 2007

    Error Number: 2647
    Error Source: listTtable
    Error Description: The expression you entered refers to an object that is closed or does not exist.

    VBA code points to DAO.workspace

    Microsoft DAO 3.6 Object Library is selected in the references.

    The backup database mdb file in the backup directory is much smaller than the master file.


  7. James says:


    Whenever I open the Backup Tool it tells me “There is no object in this control.”

    I then have to click OH twice and then a Compile Error comes up “The code in this project must be updated for use on 64-bit systems. Please review and update Declare statements and then mark them with the PtrSafe attribute.”

    What does this mean and how do I repair it?

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