Hiding The Access Database Object Pane

Protect you database design and prevent users accessing database objects.

Access Database Objects Pane

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Why Hide the Database Objects Pane

The Access Database Objects Pane provides access to the database design objects that make up an Access Database, including the Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Marcos, and VBA code modules. With the Database Object pane open, users have access to and can open any database object in design mode, or worse, delete any of the database objects as they see fit.

For the reasons outlined, it makes sense and is common practice to remove ready access to the Database object pane. This ensures the end users cannot accidentally or otherwise delete or change the design of database objects. It is also worth understanding that simply opening a database object in design mode can prevent other users from accessing the database while that object is open, or result in data corruption if other users attempt to access records that are also linked to the object that was put into design mode.

Access Database 2010 - 2019 configuration menu

Fortunately, there is a relatively simple answer, and that is to hide the Database Object pane. An Access database can easily be configured to hide the Database Object Pane when the database opens, therefore preventing users from making authorised changes to the database. Additionally, hiding the database objects pane also provides more screen area in which the database can operate.

How to hide the Access Database Objects Pane

The steps outlined below will instruct Microsoft Access to hide the Database Objects Pane when the Access Database opens. Note: These changes effect only the database that is open when the configuration changes are made. If you have other database you will need to perform that same steps on each.

  1. In Microsoft Access open the database that you want to configure.
  2. With the database loaded, in the top left-hand corner of the screen click the FILE option, then at the bottom left of the screen click the 'Options' option.
  3. Access Database 2010 - 2019 configuration menu
  4. In the left panel of the 'Access Options configuration' form, select the 'Current Database' and use the slider to scroll down. Remove the tick from the 'Display Navigation Pane' check box to prevent the Objects Pane from displaying when the Access Database opens. We also recommend removing the tick from the 'Use Access Special Keys' and 'Enable Layout View' checkboxes to prevent users from using MS Access shortcut keys to reopen the Database Objects Window when using the database.
  5. Access Database Option Pane 2010 - 2019
  6. Once the changes are made, click the 'OK' button twice. Close and reopen the database and you will see that the Database Objects Pane is no longer displayed.
  7. Access Database Option Pane update message

Showing the Database Object Pane

When using a Microsoft Access Database in which the Database Objects Pane is hidden, the following methods can be used to display the pane.

  1. With the database open, press the F11 key on the keyboard. Note: this option works only if the 'Use Access Special Keys' has not been disabled.
  2. When starting the Access Database hold down the {SHIFT} key on the keyboard until the database fully opens. This instructs Access to bypass any startup instructions, in which case the Database Objects Pane will be displayed.
  3. Update the Database Option to again display the Database Objects Pane. Simply reverse the process outlined under the 'Hiding the Access Database Objects Pane on Start Up' section above.

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