How to Remove Duplicates in Access


When multiple users enter data into a Microsoft Access database, the chances of duplicated information increases. If there are only a handful of such duplicates, you can manually delete them by simply selecting the unwanted entries and pressing "Delete." When you have dozens or even hundreds of duplicates, this is not a practical solution. Instead, you can create and run a delete query, which deletes entries based on your specified criteria. Before doing so, you should back up your database so you can recover accidentally deleted records.

Back Up Your Database

  • Open the database, select the "File" menu and choose "Save As."

  • Choose "Save Database As" under File Types.

  • Select "Back Up Database" under Advanced and click "Save As."

  • Review the name of the backup. The default file name includes the original database name and the backup date, but you can change it if desired. Click "Save."

Create and Run the Query

  • Select the "Create" tab and click on "Query Design." Choose the table containing duplicate records and click the "Add" button.

  • Add the fields on which you want to base your criteria to the grid. You can drag and drop them or use the drop-down arrows in the first row of each column in the grid. Clear the "Show" check box for each field.

  • Select "Run" in the Results section and confirm that the criteria you selected returned the correct results. Click the "View" drop-down arrow in the Results group and choose "Design View."

  • Click "Delete" in the Query Type section of the Design tab under Query Tools. Verify that "From" appears in the Delete row in the * (all fields) column and "Where" appears in any of the criteria columns.

  • Click "Run" on the Design tab and then click "Yes."

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