Learn about the problem “This file may not be safe if it contains code that was intended to harm your computer” in Access and ways to solve it.
MS Access databases play a critical role in the management of business records. When such files get damaged, your business can suffer huge losses in case you fail to restore them quickly. Let’s say you encounter the above response when launching your database and it fails to open, this is an indication that your MS Access file is faulty. We will examine what triggers this database error and what you can to restore your database to normal operation.
Why this error occurs
MS Access will ordinarily prevent potentially harmful databases from opening by triggering an ‘unsafe’ security warning thanks to its Sandbox feature. The application will check all VBA scripts associated with a database and if it doesn’t find the relevant security certificates, the error will pop-up.
In case of a virus attack, the scripts of your database can be altered, making them unsafe. Also, Access database corruption because of other factors may affect the security certificates of your application. In both scenarios, you’ll likely get the above security warning error.
Tips for protecting your database from virus attacks
Computer viruses and worms can render your database and other digital files useless. They can result in massive data losses as well as affect the performance of your computers. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid being a victim of malware attacks. For starters, install antivirus software and keep it updated always.
Perform frequent scans on your machine for malware. This will prevent any malware infections from spreading from one file to another. Avoid opening Access files from untrusted sources. Executing such files will allow viruses to spread to healthy files and consequently affect your database. If you are in a business setup, make sure that your members of staff, especially new employees, are sensitized to information security and how to handle suspicious emails.
In addition, secure your computer network from external intrusion by installing current firewall software. This will prevent your organization from becoming an easy target by external attackers.
Ensure that all computers that are used to access your databases use the same versions of JET database engine. If different JET engine service packs are installed in the client computers, your database is likely to suffer data corruption. It is wise to maintain your JET database engine software updated to ensure the relevant macro security certificates are installed.
Approaches to fixing this error
When you encounter this error, you need to investigate whether the file you are trying to open is from a trusted source. For instance, check the location of the file, especially if the database is running on a server. If you are sure of the origin of the file, confirm whether the macro security certificates are up to date and update them if they are not. You may need to lower the macro security if you are using Access runtime to run the database instead of installing the MS Access software on your machine.
The above approaches will only work in cases where the database is not corrupt. However, if the Access file is damaged, use DataNumen Access Repair to recover the affected objects. The recovered objects can be imported to a new database. This way, you can restore your database and avert possible data loss.