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Article ID: 835416 - Last Review: April 12, 2007 - Revision: 4.1

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) file or to a Microsoft Access database (.accdb) file. Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.

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In Microsoft Access, when you try to run an append query, to run a make-table query, or to import data in a large Microsoft Access database file, you may receive the following error message:
Invalid argument.
This problem occurs when the size of the Access database file approaches the 2 gigabyte (GB) size limitation.


To work around this problem, you must reduce the size of the Access database file. To do this, use one of the following methods:

Method 1: Compact the Access database file

You can reduce the size of the Access database file by running the Compact and Repair Database utility. To do this, follow these steps.

Note If you want to compact a shared Access database file that is located on a server or in a shared folder, you must make sure that no other user on the network has opened the Access database file. You must have exclusive use of the Access database file.
  1. Start Access.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Database Utilities, and then click Compact and Repair Database.

    Note In Access 2007, click Microsoft Office Button, point to Manage, and then click Compact and Repair Database.
  3. In the Database to Compact From dialog box, select the Access file that you want to compact, and then click Compact.
  4. In the Compact Database Into dialog box, select the name for the compacted Access database file.
  5. Click Save.

Method 2: Split the Access database file

You can also work around this problem by dividing the Access database file into multiple Access database files. If the Access database file contains modules with a lot of code, you can consider using library databases to store the code. You can also consider using the Database Splitter Wizard to divide your single Access database file into two Access database files. One of the Access database files contains all the tables. The other Access database file contains the remaining database objects, such as forms and reports. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Access.
  2. Open the problem Access database file.
  3. On the Tools menu, point to Database utilities in the Database window, and then click Database Splitter.

    Note In Access 2007, click Access Database in the Move Data group on the Database Tools tab.
  4. In the Database Splitter dialog box, click Split Database.
  5. In the Create Back-end Database dialog box, type a name for the back-end Access database file in the File name box, and then click Split.
  6. Click OK.


For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304932  ( ) How to manually split a Microsoft Access database
302495  ( ) ACC2000: "Invalid Argument" when you import, copy, or append data to a table
209912  ( ) ACC2000: How to reference classes that exist in multiple libraries
288631  ( ) Defragment and compact database to improve performance

  • Microsoft Office Access 2007
  • Microsoft Office Access 2003
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition
kbexpertiseinter kbtshoot kbquery kbmemory kbdatabase kberrmsg kbprb KB835416
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