Creating a Simple Query in Access

How to make a user-friendly query in Access

Microsoft Access offers a powerful query function with an easy-to-learn interface that makes it a snap to extract exactly the information you need from your database.

Instructions in this article apply to Access for Office 365, Access 2019, Access 2016, and Access 2013. If you're using an earlier version of Access, there are instructions for creating queries using Access 2010 as well as older versions of Access.

Create a Simple Query in Microsoft Access

Our goal in this tutorial is to create a query listing the names of all of our company's products, our desired target inventory levels and the list price for each item. Using the Query Wizard simplifies the process.

  1. If you haven't already installed the Northwind sample database, be sure to do so before proceeding. Open that database or another database you want to use.

    Northwind database in Access.
  2. Select the Create tab.

    Create tab in Microsoft Access.
  3. Select Query Wizard in the Queries group. The New Query window will open.

    The alternative is to use the Query Design view, which facilitates the creation of more sophisticated queries but is more complicated to use.

    The Query Wizard in Access.
  4. Select a query type. For our purposes, we will use the Simple Query Wizard. Choose OK to continue.

    Query Wizard in Access.
  5. Select the appropriate table from the pull-down menu. These are the valid data sources for your new query. In this example, we want to first select the Products table which contains information about the products we keep in our inventory.

    Tables/Queries list in Simple Query Wizard.
  6. Choose the fields you wish to appear in the query results. You can do this by double-clicking them or by selecting the field name and then on the > icon. As you do this, the fields will move from the Available Fields listing to the Selected Fields listing. In this example, we want to select the Product Name, List Price, and Target Level from the Product table.

    Notice that there are three other icons offered. The >> icon will select all available fields. The < icon allows you to remove the highlighted field from the Selected Fields list while the << icon removes all selected fields.

    Selecting fields in Query Wizard.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add information from additional tables, as desired. In our example, we're pulling information from a single table.

    You can combine information from multiple tables and easily show relationships. All you have to do is select the fields. This works because the Northwind database has predefined relationships between tables. If you're creating a new database, you'll need to establish these relationships yourself.

  8. When you're finished adding fields to your query, select Next to continue.

  9. Choose the type of results you would like to produce. We want to produce a full listing of products and their suppliers, so select the Detail option here and choose the Next button to continue.

    Detail or Summary options in Simple Query Wizard.
  10. Give your query a title. Select something descriptive that will help you recognize this query later. We'll call this query Product Supplier Listing.

    Query name field in Simple Query Wizard.
  11. Select Finish. You'll be presented with the query results shown in the illustration above. It contains a list of our company products, desired target inventory levels, and list prices. Notice that the tab presenting the results contains the name of your query.

    Query results in Access.

Congratulations! You've successfully created your first query using Microsoft Access! Now you're armed with a powerful tool to apply to your database needs.