How to Link a Table to a Backend Database in Access 2016

Linked tables enable you to have a frontend database that stores and retrieves data from an external source.

Access has an Import/Export wizard that enables you to set up linked tables.

Here's how to create a linked table that stores and retrieves its data from another Access database.

  1. Screenshot of Access with the Import Access Database button highlighted

    Launch the Import/Link Wizard

    Click Access in the Import & Link group from the External Data tab on the Ribbon.

  2. Screenshot of the Get External Data wizard

    Enter Details of the Source Database

    Enter the location of the source database (or browse to it using the Browse button).

    Select Link to the data source by creating a linked table, then click OK.

  3. Screenshot of the password prompt

    Enter any Password that's Required

    If the source database is encrypted, you will be prompted to enter the password here.

    Enter the password and click OK.

    You will only need to do this step if the source database is password protected.

  4. Screenshot of the selecting the tables

    Select the Tables

    Select all the tables that need to be linked, then click OK.

  5. Screenshot of the database with a table open

    The Linked Tables

    The linked tables now appear in the left Navigation Pane.

    You can always identify a linked table by the little arrow icon to its left.

    You can now open them in Datasheet View, and update the data as required.

    You will also be able to open the tables in Design View, but you won't be able to change the design. Any design changes need to be done to the source database.