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How to suppress the Convert/Open Database dialog box when you open an Access 97 database

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb).

Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.
For a Microsoft Access 2002 version of this article, see 290291.
For a Microsoft Access 2000 version of this article, see 275164.

Important This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry
When you open a Microsoft Access 97 database by using Access 2003, the Convert/Open Database dialog box appears. You can suppress the display of the Convert/Open Database dialog box if you want to. To do this, you must add the
registry entry to the Access
subkey in the registry. This setting does not prevent conversion. This setting only prevents the initial Convert/Open Database dialog box from appearing when the database is opened.

Note Access 2003 does not display the Convert/Open Database dialog box when you open a database that is in a Microsoft Access 2000 file format.
More information
subkey controls whether the Convert/Open Database dialog box appears. To add the
subkey, follow these steps:

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
  1. On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In Registry Editor window, locate the following registry key:

  4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value. Name the new DWORD NoConvertDialog.
  5. In the right pane of Registry Editor, double-click the NoConvertDialog DWORD.
  6. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, click Decimal that is under Base.
  7. In the Value Data box, type 1, and then click OK.

    Note When you set the value to 0, the Convert/Open Database dialog box appears.
  8. Close Registry Editor.
  9. Start Microsoft Office Access 2003.
  10. On the File menu, click Open.
  11. Locate the Access 97 database, and then open it.

    Notice that the database opens without prompting you to open it or to convert it. The database remains in Access 97 file format.
To convert the database, follow these steps:
  1. On the Tools menu, point to Database Utilities, and then point to Convert Database.
  2. Click one of the following choices:
    • To Access 2002 - 2003 File Format
    • To Access 2000 File Format
The registry subkey can be forced ON or forced OFF by a Group Policy setting. When a matching Group Policy setting is in place, the registry setting that was mentioned previously is ignored.

You can force the Group Policy ON or OFF by using the Group Policy Console. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Install Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit.
  2. On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Run dialog box, type gpedit.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  4. In the Group Policy console, expand Computer Configuration under Local Computer Policy.
  5. Select Administrative Templates.
  6. On the Action menu, click Add/Remove Templates.
  7. In the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Add.
  8. In the Policy Templates dialog box, locate ACCESS11.ADM on your computer, and then click Open.
  9. In the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Close.
  10. In the Group Policy console, expand User Configuration that is under Local Computer Policy.
  11. Expand Administrative Templates.
  12. Expand Microsoft Office Access 2003, and then click Miscellaneous.
  13. In the right pane, double-click Do not prompt to convert older databases.
  14. In the Do not prompt to convert older databases Properties dialog box, click Enabled on the Policy tab. Click to select the Check to enforce setting on; uncheck to enforce setting off check box.
  15. Click Apply, and then click OK.

Note When you use the Group Policy Console, the changes are made to the Policy setting through the following subkey in the registry:


Note The NoConvertDialog setting is intended to suppress only the Convert/Open Database dialog box. After a registry key is added, you continue to receive the following error message:
You can't make changes to the database objects in the database '<database name>.' The database was created in an earlier version of Microsoft Office Access. To convert this database to the current version of Microsoft Office Access, close the database, point to Database utilities on the Tools menu, and then click Convert Database.
Before Access 2002 Service Pack 3 and Access 2003 Service Pack 1, the previous error message was unintentionally suppressed. To prevent the previous message from appearing, you can add a Startup form to the Access 97 database.
For more information about multiple file formats in Access 2003, click Microsoft Access Help on the Help menu, type about using an Access file with multiple versions of Access in the Search for box in the Assistance pane, and then click Start searching to view the topic.

For more information on Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit, visit the following Microsoft website:
Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit Documentation

Article ID: 824260 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 03:40:21 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Office Access 2003

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