Import database objects into the current Access database

Access for Microsoft 365, Access 2019, Access 2016, Access 2013, Access 2010, Access 2007.

Access supplies a myriad of means to replicate an object like a table or form from one database to another. Copying and pasting an object is effortless, but importing an object from an unrelated Access database into your existing database provides you with further options.


You can import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, or modules from one Access database into your present database. Once you import an object, Access produces a copy of the object in the existing database.

Are you wanting to import data and tables into your Access database? See Import or link to data in another Access database for particular information and considerations about importing data and tables.

You import database objects anytime you need to do either of the following tasks:

  • Copy the design and layout of a form, a report or other object from another Access database into your existing database as a fast way to make a new form, report or other object.
  • Copy the newest version of a form, report, or other object from a different Access database into your present database at regular intervals. To do this, you can design an import specification when you initially import the object, and then use the specification to perform the same process later.

Note that importing an object from another Access database into the existing database barely varies from opening a second database and then exporting the object from the first. The two primary distinctions between importing and exporting objects between Access databases are:

  • You can import several objects in a single operation, but you cannot export numerous objects in a single operation. If you want to export several objects to another database, it is simpler to access the destination database and then conduct an import operation from inside that database.
  • As well as database objects, you can import relationships between tables, alongside any import and export specifications, and menu bars and toolbars. You can even import a query as a table. Exporting excludes providing you these options.

Import a database object from another Access database into your current database

  1. Launch your desired database to import objects into, if still closed. The file format can be either MDB or ACCDB. If the file is in MDE or ACCDE format, you’ll only manage to import tables and queries from other Access databases. You can’t import forms, reports, macros, and modules into an MDE or ACCDE file.
  1. The import wizard’s location changes minimally based n your version of Access. Select the steps that match your Access version:
  • If you’re using the latest version of the Microsoft 365 subscription version of Access, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, select New Data Source > From Database > Access.
  • If you’re using Access 2016, Access 2013, or Access 2010, on the External Data tab, in the Import & Link group, pick Access.

  1. Access enters the Get External Data – Access Database dialogue box.
  1. In the File name text box on the Get External Data – Access Database dialogue box, write the name of the source database or press Browse to present the File Open dialogue box. Browse to the source database, select it, and then press Open.
  1. Click Import tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules into the current database and pick OK to open the Import Objects dialogue box.

  1. In the Import Objects dialogue box, choose every tab and confirm your desired objects. To cancel a picked object, select the object again. To choose all objects for import on the current tab, pick Select All. Press Deselect All to cancel picking all objects on the present tab.
Import Objects dialog box in an Access database
  1. Select Options to elaborate additional settings. The following table outlines how each option affects the results of the operation.
Relationships checkboxChoose to import the relationships between the selected tables.
Menus and Toolbars checkboxPick to import any custom menus and toolbars that exist in the source database. The menus and toolbars are displayed on a tab named Add-Ins.
Import/Export Specs checkboxClick to import any saved import or export specifications that exist in the source database.
Nav Pane Groups checkboxChoose to import any custom Navigation pane groups that exist in the source database.
All Images and Themes checkboxClick to import any saved images or themes that exist in the source database.
Definition and Data option buttonTap to import the structure and data of all selected tables.
Definition Only option buttonPress to import only the fields in the selected tables. The source records are not imported.
As Queries option buttonTap to import the selected queries as queries. In this case, remember to import all the underlying tables along with the queries.
As Tables option buttonClick to import queries as tables. In this case, you need not import the underlying tables.
  1. Press OK to begin the import operation. Access duplicates the objects and presents error messages if it meets any problems. If the operation accomplishes importing the objects, the final page of the wizard enables you to save the details of the operation as an import specification for future use. The import operation seldom overwrites or edits any of the current objects. If an object with the same name in the source database is pre-existent in the present database, Access assigns a number (1, 2, 3, and so on) to the name of the import object. For example, if you import the Issues form into your database that already has a form called Issues, the imported form will be entitled Issues1. If the name Issues1 is already taken, the new form will be called Issues2, and so on.

What else should I know?

  • For information on how to change a specification name, delete specifications, or update the names of source files in specifications, see the article Manage Data Tasks.

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