Import data from an Access database into an Access web app

Applies to: Access for Microsoft 365, Access 2019, Access 2016, Access 2013.

This article indicates to you how to transfer data from an Access desktop database into an Access web app, so you can share it with friends and colleagues in an internet browser.

Not using an Access web app? Are you searching for information on how to import data into an Access desktop database? In that case, see Import or link to data in another Access database.

Important    Microsoft no longer recommends creating and using Access web apps in SharePoint. As an alternative, consider using Microsoft Power Apps to build no-code business solutions for the web and mobile devices.

Importing data into an Access web app

Before you get stuck in, here are some things to consider:

  • Access will not import table relationships, calculated columns, validation rules, default values, attachment fields, OLE object fields, and certain other legacy data types into the web app.
  • Access will retain lookups, so if you have related tables, ensure the relationships are created by using lookup fields before you import the tables into the web app.

Those preliminaries aside, here’s how to do the import:

  1. If you’ve already started an Access web app, enter it in Access (in the browser, select Settings > Customise in Access), then press Home > Table.
  1. If the Add Tables page isn’t displayed, choose Home > Table.
  1. On the Add Tables page (the first thing you see when forming a new custom app), you can import data from other Access databases, Excel workbooks, ODBC data sources, Text/CSV files, and SharePoint lists.

Existing data source options on the Add Tables page.

  1. Below Create a table from an existing data source, pick Access.Creating a table from an existing data source.

Note: If you want to import from other data sources other than Access, select the relevant data source option and progress through the wizard steps.

  1. The Get External Data – Access Database dialogue box opens.

  1. On the Get External Data – Access Database dialogue box, choose Browse, click the Access desktop database you’re importing from, and press Open.

  1. The Import Objects dialogue box emerges.Select objects to import on the Import Objects dialog box Note: You can only import tables from an Access desktop database into an Access web app. No other object type can be imported.

  1. In the Import Objects dialogue box, on the Tables tab, pick the tables you want to import. To cancel a chosen object, press the object again.

  1. Select OK to start the import process. Access imports the data and presents error messages if it endures any problems.

  1. Access showcases the new table(s) on the left side of the screen, and designs standard views for each one. At this point, the greatest thing to do is select Home > Launch App. In the browser, choose the new tables and views to assess the appearance of everything. To apply changes to the default views, exit the browser and customise the web app in Access.

Notes: 

  • Importing data into an Access web app always creates a new table with default List and Datasheet views.
  • You can’t append data to existing tables using the Import Wizard in an app. However, you can import data into a new table and then do one of the following:
  • Use datasheet views to copy and paste the data into the target table, or
  • Use the CreateRecord action in a data macro to add the imported data to the target table.

Tip: Create lookups between new tables and existing ones to start tying data together. As long as a table’s default views haven’t been modified from the original, Access will add the appropriate “related data” controls to help you begin using the data.

External data operations available in Access web apps and desktop databases

This table offers you a quick overview of which types of files you can import or link to Access web apps or desktop databases.

Access web apps can import…Access web apps can link to…Desktop databases can import…Desktop databases can link to…
Microsoft ExcelGreen dotGreen dotGreen dot
(read-only)
Microsoft AccessGreen dotGreen dotGreen dot
ODBC Databases, such as SQL ServerGreen dotGreen dotGreen dot
Text or comma-separated value (CSV) filesGreen dotGreen dotGreen dot
(add new records only)
SharePoint ListGreen dotGreen dot
(read-only)
Green dotGreen dot
XMLGreen dot
Data ServicesGreen dotGreen dot
(read-only)
HTML DocumentGreen dotGreen dot
Outlook folderGreen dotGreen dot

To learn how to import data into an Access desktop database, see Import or link to data in another Access database.

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