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How to reset an AutoNumber field value in Access

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Summary
This step-by-step article describes how to reset an AutoNumber field value in Access. The AutoNumber field value in Access does not automatically reset when you delete some rows or all rows in a table. To reset the AutoNumber field value and to refresh the AutoNumber value in the referenced table, you must manually perform some tasks.

Note You must back up your database before you perform the steps that follow.

Reset an AutoNumber field in a single table

If your table has no relationships to other tables, use either Method 1 or Method 2 to reset an AutoNumber field value.

Method 1: Move the data to a new table using a Make-Table query

You can reset an AutoNumber field value by using a Make-Table query to create a new table that has the same data and then adding a new AutoNumber field.

Access 2003 and earlier versions

To do this in Access 2003 or in an earlier version, follow these steps:
  1. Delete the AutoNumber field from the main table, and note the AutoNumber field name.
  2. Click Queries on the left pane, and then double-click Create query in Design view on right pane.
  3. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table, click Add, and then click Close.
  4. Double-click the required fields in the table view of the main table to select the fields.
  5. Select the required Sort order.
  6. On the Query menu, click Make-Table Query, type the new table name in the Table Name text box, and then click OK.
  7. On the Query menu, click Run.
  8. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
  9. On the File menu, click Close, and then click No to close the Make-Table Query window.
  10. Click Tables on the left pane, right-click the new table, and then click Design View.
  11. In the Design view for the table, add an AutoNumber field that has the same field name that you deleted in step 1, add this AutoNumber field to the new table, and then save the table.
  12. Close the Design view window.
  13. Rename the main table, and then rename the new table to match the main table name.
Access 2007 and later versions

To do this in Microsoft Office Access 2007 or in a later version, follow these steps:
  1. Delete the AutoNumber field from the main table, and note the AutoNumber field name.
  2. Click the Create tab, and then click Query Design in the Other group.
  3. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table. Click Add, and then clickClose.
  4. Double-click the required fields in the table view of the main table to select the fields.
  5. Select the required Sort order.
  6. On the Design tab, click Make Table in the Query Type group.
  7. Type the new table name in the Table Name box, and then click OK.
  8. On the Design tab, click Run in the Results group.
  9. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
  10. Close the query.
  11. Right-click the new table, and then click Design View.
  12. In the Design view for the table, add an AutoNumber field that has the same field name that you deleted in step 1. Add this AutoNumber field to the new table, and then save the table.
  13. Close the Design view window.
  14. Rename the main table, and then rename the new table to match the main table name.

Method 2: Create a new table and move the data to it using an append query
You can copy the structure of your existing table as a new table. You can then append the data into the new table and add a new AutoNumber field.

Access 2003 and earlier versions

To do this in Microsoft Office Access 2003 and in earlier versions, follow these steps:
  1. Delete the AutoNumber field from the main table.

    Make note of the AutoNumber field name.
  2. Copy the structure of the main table and then create a new table.
  3. Click Queries on the left pane. Click Create query in Design view on right pane.
  4. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table. Click Add and then click Close.
  5. To select the fields, double-click the required fields. Do this for all the fields except for the AutoNumber field in the Table view of the main table.
  6. On the Query menu, click Append Query.

    Note This changes the query type.
  7. From the Table Name list, select the new table that you created in step 2. Click OK.
  8. On the Query menu, click Run.
  9. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
  10. On the File menu, click Close. Click No to close the AppendQuery window.
  11. Click Tables on the left pane. Right-click the new table and then click Design View.
  12. In the Design view for the table, add an AutoNumber field with the same field name that you deleted in step 1. Add this AutoNumber field to the new table, and then save the table.
  13. Close the Design view window.
  14. Rename the main table, and then rename the new table to match the main table name.
Access 2007 and later versions

To do this in Microsoft Office Access 2007 or in a later version, follow these steps:
  1. Delete the AutoNumber field from the main table.

    Make note of the AutoNumber field name.
  2. Copy the structure of the main table, and then create a new table.
  3. Click the Create tab, and then click Query Design in the Other group.
  4. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table. Click Add, and then click Close.
  5. To select the fields, double-click the required fields. Do this for all the fields except for the AutoNumber field in the Table view of the main table.
  6. On the Design tab, click Append in the Query Type group.

    Note This changes the query type.
  7. I the Table Name list, select the new table that you created in step 2, and then click OK.
  8. On the Design tab, click Run in the Results group.
  9. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
  10. Close the query.
  11. Right-click the new table, and then click Design View.
  12. In the Design view for the table, add an AutoNumber field that has the same field name that you deleted in step 1. Add this AutoNumber field to the new table, and then save the table.
  13. Close the Design view window.
  14. Rename the main table, and then rename the new table to match the main table name.


Reset an AutoNumber field in a table with referenced tables

A table with referenced tables has a relationship with one or more tables. The steps that follow describe how to reset the AutoNumber field for a table that has one referenced table. If you have more than one referenced table, you must follow these steps for each referenced table.
  1. Remove the relationship between the tables.
  2. Set the AutoNumber field of the main table to a Number data type, and then remove the primary key.
  3. Create a new field of AutoNumber data type in the main table, and then save the table.
  4. Create a new field of Number data type in the referenced table, and then save the table.
  5. To create an update query that updates the new field in the referenced table to the new AutoNumber field of the main table, follow these steps.

    Access 2003 and earlier versions
    1. Click Queries in the left pane, and then click Create query in Design view in right pane.

      Note This creates your new query.
    2. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table and the referenced table, click Add to add the main table and the referenced table, and then click Close.
    3. Click the field in the main table that was previously linked to the referenced table, and then drag the field to the previously linked field of the referenced table.

      Note This creates the join between the tables that is based on the original linking fields.
    4. On the Query menu, click Update Query.
    5. Double-click the new field from the referenced table to add it to the field list.
    6. In the Update To field, type [Main TableName].[New AutoNumber field] to update the new field values in the referenced table.
    7. On the Query menu, click Run.
    8. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
    9. On the File menu, click Close, and then click No to close the Update Query window.
    Access 2007 and later versions

    1. Click the Create tab, and then click Query Design in the Other group. This creates the new query.
    2. In the Show Table dialog box, select the main table and the referenced table. Click Add to add the main table and the referenced table. Click Close.
    3. Click the field in the main table that was previously linked to the referenced table, and then drag the field to the previously linked field of the referenced table.

      Note This creates the join between the tables that is based on the original linking fields.
    4. On the Design tab, click Update in the Query Type group.

      Note This changes the query type.
    5. Double-click the new field from the referenced table to add it to the field list.
    6. In the Update To field, type [Main TableName].[New AutoNumber field] to update the new field values in the referenced table.
    7. On the Design tab, click Run in the Results group.
    8. When you are prompted by the "You are about to paste # row(s) into a new table" message, click Yes to insert the rows.
    9. Close the query.
  6. Delete the original linking field from the main table and the referenced table.
  7. Revert the name of the new AutoNumber field to the original name.
  8. Re-create the primary key and the relationship between the tables.
This procedure resets your AutoNumber field and updates the referenced table by using the correct key values.

References
For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
209696 How to use an append query to set initial value of an AutoNumber field
94821 Use append query to set initial value of AutoNumber field
202121 Cannot change default seed and increment value in UI
287756 AutoNumber field is not reset after you compact an Access database
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Article ID: 812718 - Last Review: 10/31/2013 01:21:00 - Revision: 15.0

Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition

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