MS Access – Why is my query not updateable

In this post you will learn what possible reasons can be why your MS Access query cannot be edited.

Possible Reasons

  • The database is on a read-only media, or the file attributes are read-only, or the database was opened read-only.
  • You have only read permission and no write permission.
  • It is a stacked query, where one query is based on another query that is read-only.
  • It has a GROUP BY clause in it, a Totals query is always read-only.
  • It has a TRANSFORM clause in it, a Crosstab query is always read-only.
  • In the query is a UNION, Union queries are always read-only.
  • In the SELECT clause is a First(), Sum(), Max(), Count(), etc., ueries that aggregate records are always read-only.
  • The query contains a DISTINCT predicate, set the unique values to No in the properties.
  • There is a subquery in the SELECT clause. To solve this problem, you should either use a domain aggregation function instead, or uncheck the show box under your subquery.
  • In the FROM clause there are multiple JOINs linking multiple tables, remove some of the tables.
  • The fields in the JOIN are not indexed correctly: there is no unique key/primary key.
  • The query’s Recordset Type property is Snapshot, this should be set to “Dynaset” in the properties.


As you learned in this post, there can be many different reasons why a query cannot be edited in MS Acces. Work through the list and check everything, then you will hopefully find your error! Read more articles here:


If you would like to read more about MS Access, please read our guide : ‘What are MS Access Objects

To read more about MS Access in general, view our ‘What is Microsoft Access‘ post or go to Microsoft.


Arrow Design, based in Dublin, Ireland, provides quality website design services in Dublin and beyond at affordable prices. If you would like help with implementing the above code, or any wordpress website development project, contact us. We love website design and it shows! We provide custom wordpress plugin development, website design training and lots more.

We do it all, so you don’t have to!

enqueue scripts
enqueue scripts
enqueue scripts

…We do more, so you can do less 🙂


Leave a message and we will be straight back to you!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This