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You receive "The current user account doesn't have permission to convert or enable this database" error message when opening an Access database file

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In Microsoft Access 2002 or Microsoft Access 2003, when you try to open or convert a secured Microsoft Access 97 or earlier database file, you may receive the following error message:
The current user account doesn't have permission to convert or enable this database.

To convert or enable a database, ensure the following:
* You must join the workgroup that defines the user accounts used to access the database.
* Your user account must have Open/Run and Open Exclusive permissions for the database object.
* Your user account must have Modify Design or Administer permissions for all the tables in the database, or it must be the owner of all tables in the database.
* Your user account must have Read Design permission for all objects in the database.
* Request that other users close the database.

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Although you may have met all the conditions of the error message, if you are not the owner of the secured database, you may not be able to either open or convert the database.

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To convert the database to the newer version, you can do one of the following:
  • If you are a member of the Admins group, change the permissions on the system tables to include Administer.
  • Have the database owner convert the file.
  • Import the objects into a new database file. This method is the least desirable because it will remove the existing security settings from the file.

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More information

When Access 2002 or Access 2003 tries to open a database that was created in Access 97 or earlier, it displays a dialog box that gives you the choice of opening the database as read-only or converting it to the newer version. In the case of a secured database, the Convert/Open Database dialog box does not appear if you are not the owner.

How to Find Owner of the Database

  1. Start Access 97 and open your database.
  2. On the Tools menu, point to Security, and then click User and Group Permissions.
  3. Click the Change Owner tab.
  4. In the Object Type list, click Database at the top of the list.

    The Current Owner is displayed in the Object pane. Note that the Change Owner button is not available (dimmed). Ownership is set at the time the database is created and cannot be changed.

How to Import the Objects to a New Database

  1. Join the relevant workgroup file.

    NOTE: Unlike in earlier versions of Access, the workgroup administrator for Access 2002 or Access 2003 is started by pointing to Security on the Tools menu, and then clicking Workgroup Administrator.
  2. Start Access 2002 or Access 2003, and then log on as a user with Admin rights.
  3. On the Tools menu, point to Security, and then click User and Group Accounts.
  4. In the Users box, select the Admin user name. Remove the Admin account from the Admins group if it is present in that group.
  5. Create a new database. This action will establish you as the database owner.
  6. Import all of the objects from your original database into the new database.
  7. Create other group and user accounts as necessary.
  8. Assign group and user permissions to your objects as appropriate.


For additional information about another problem you may encounter when you try to convert a secured Access database that was created in an earlier version of Access, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
224341 ACC2000: Error Message: Can't Open or Convert This Previous Version Database

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Keywords: KB288960, kbprb, kberrmsg, kbopenfile, kbdatabase

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Article Info
Article ID : 288960
Revision : 7
Created on : 5/28/2004
Published on : 5/28/2004
Exists online : False
Views : 306