How to Include Attachments in an Access Database

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Microsoft Access 2007 and later supports file attachments including photos, graphics, and documents as separate uploads into the database. Although you can reference documents stored on the Web or located on a filesystem, inserting those documents into your Access database means that when you move or archive the database, those files move along with it.


Add a field for storing attachments:

  1. Open the table into which you will add attachments, in Design view.
  2. Type a name for the attachment field into the Field Name column of a new row.
  3. Select "Attachment" from the Data Type drop-down box.
  4. Save the table by clicking the disk icon in the upper left corner of the screen.

Insert attachments into a database record:

  1. Switch to Datasheet view to see the contents of your table.
  2. Double-click the paperclip icon that appears in the assigned field. The number in parentheses next to this icon indicates the number of files attached to that particular record.
  3. Click the Add button in the Attachments window to add a new attachment.
  4. Select the file click the Open button.
  5. Click OK to close the Attachments window. The document count for your record has now changed to reflect the new attachments.


  • The attachment feature first became available in Microsoft Access 2007. It is not available in earlier versions of Access.
  • Each file must be less than 256 MB in size.¬†All Access databases must be less than 2 GB in total size. To avoid space constraints, consider linking files to a specific folder in your filesystem instead of inserting them into the database.
  • Access compresses several image filetypes to conserve space.
  • Access, by default, blocks several dozen specific file types. Users cannot unblock these types. Access behaves this way to protect the database and its users from the unauthorized execution of potentially harmful software.