I set up a linked tables in Microsoft Access to connects to an remote database using ODBC with a File DSN. But which DSN file is Access using now? I want to examine it and compare it with the other versions.

The Linked Table Manager only lists the tables and the name of the database.

I tried renaming all of the DSN files I could find, and the ODBC connection still runs. Is Access storing the connection string itself?


IIRC, Access uses either a machine DSN or a file DSN. I only have Access 2016 installed but I don't think this has changed much. There should be an External Data tab in the ribbon, click on ODBC Database. This shows you two tabs: File Data Source and Machine Data Source. enter image description here

This image shows the MS Access Database source but I generally see folks create one specific to the Access database they created.

You can also views this by opened the ODBC Data Sources from Administrator tools. There is a 32 and a 64 bit version of this and you may need to check both.

Also, with regards to Access storing the connection itself. It is possible to setup a DSN-less connection using macros. You can see this KB on how that is done to know where to check in your Access database.

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  • I know I made it a File DSN. Sadly the MS Access 2007 ribbon doesn't have that lovely button, only Import and Export ones. How can it keep working even with the File DSN renamed and MS Access restarted? imgur.com/a/2EhPi – Thomas Hughes Aug 7 '15 at 14:02
  • Do you open Access as the "administrator" account? I recall I had one Access file I supported years back that they had multiple users and if I did not open it as the Admin it was locked down to the options I could see/look at. – user507 Aug 7 '15 at 15:26
  • Unfortunately this answer does not show which file DSN an existing linked table uses. – Jeff Puckett Jul 13 '17 at 19:03
  • @JeffPuckett Considering you can create DSN-less connections to linked tables, at least SQL Server there may not be one at all. – user507 Jul 15 '17 at 2:08
  • Maybe not, so perhaps the answer should be revised because in its current state, it doesn't really answer the particular question. This answer is helpful information nonetheless. – Jeff Puckett Jul 15 '17 at 14:51

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