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Microsoft Access Fixes Coming Soon To Remedy Patch Tuesday Update Troubles

Microsoft this week indicated that fixes for Microsoft Access problems, which were caused by a botched July 12 "patch Tuesday" security patch release, will be arriving soon.

The problematic patch, which wasn't identified in Microsoft's announcement, was intended as a security update for the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) component. However, it inadvertently prevented some Access users from opening certain database files.

Specifically, some Access users received error messages when trying to open "ACCDE/MDE" files, which are defined as "Access Execute Only Database" files. The "MDE" part refers to an older file format used by older Microsoft Access versions.

A description of these file formats can be found in this Lifewire.com article.

Users of Microsoft Access who experienced these file access problems typically will see two different error messages, as described in this Microsoft support article. They'll get a Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications error message saying that the "Requested type library or wizard is not a VBA project" or they'll get a message saying, "Can't complete the output operation."

Microsoft Access users typically experienced these file access problems when they were opening files that were created in a different versions of Access.

"This [issue] had a particularly painful impact on customers who accessed DBs on older versions of Access that were compiled by someone else on newer versions," explained Michael Aldridge, a principal product manager in charge of Microsoft Access, per the announcement. 

Microsoft is currently issuing fixes for affected Access products, but availability will depend on the product that's used. Here's Aldridge's thumbnail summary of when the fixes will arrive:

  • Microsoft 365 current channel customers and "2016/2019/2021 Retail users" currently have access to the Access fix.
  • The fixes will arrive next month (in August) for Access users of the "2013/2016 MSI, Monthly Enterprise Channel, Semi-Annual Channel, and 2019/2021 Volume License versions."

Specific dates for the Access fixes are shown in Microsoft's support article. Users of Microsoft's Click-to-Run streaming service can just trigger an update to get the Access fix, the support article noted.

Aldridge suggested that Microsoft is fixing things with its teams to avoid similar problems affecting Access in the future.

"We can assure you we are working with the Visual Basic for Applications team, who built this security patch, to ensure Access testing scenarios are updated to prevent this from happening again," he wrote.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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