How to Unlink an Access Table

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Microsoft Access allows to link to outside tables. When the outside table is no longer needed, you may need to unlink the table in order for your database to run faster. Tables are often linked to import old data when a database is first created or during a database change or upgrade. Unlinking a table is an easy process. When you delete a linked table, you only delete the link, not the table itself. Any data currently stored in your table will remain.


Step 1

Open an existing Microsoft Access database with a linked table.

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Step 2

Click "Tables" in the database window to display all tables and linked tables.

Step 3

Single-click the linked table. Linked tables have a small arrow at the beginning of the table name.


Step 4

Press "Delete" on your keyboard, or right-click the table and press "Delete." This removes the linked table name from your "Tables" list. The original table, the now unlinked table, will remain.

Step 5

Go to "File" and choose "Save" to save the changes.


You can relink tables at any time by going to “File," choosing "Get External Data" and selecting "Link Tables.”


To prevent any possible data loss in the event the tables weren’t linked properly, copy the linked table as a new table. Select the table and press “Ctrl+C” and then “Ctrl+V.” Choose “Structure and Data,” then press “OK.”