How to determine which user has opened a database exclusively in Access

Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.

This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb or .accdb).


Unlike Microsoft Access version 2.0 and earlier, Access 2000 and later versions do not create a .ldb file when a database is opened exclusively. Because of this, you can no longer use the .ldb file to determine which user has a database open for exclusive use.

More Information

When you try to open a database that is opened exclusively by another user, you receive the following error message:
Couldn't use '<path>\<database.mdb>'; file already in use.
You receive no information about the user or the computer name.

In order to determine which user has a Microsoft Access 2000 or later version database open exclusively, you must use an operating system tool, such as the Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Computer Management utility.

To open Computer Management, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to
    Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click
    Computer Management.
  3. In the management console, expand
    System Tools, and then use Shared Folders to manage shared resources over a network.

    By using Shared Folders, you can control user access permissions, session activity, and shared resource properties.


For more information about using the Microsoft Windows 2000 Computer Management utility, click Start, click Help, click the Index tab, and then type Computer Management in the keyword box.

For additional information about .ldb files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
299373 Introduction to .ldb files

For additional information about determining which users are logged into a database, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
285822 How to determine who is logged on to a database by using Microsoft Jet UserRoster in Access 2002 or in Access 2003