- database solutions and downloads for microsoft access

Too Many Fields Defined

Too Many Fields Defined in a Microsoft Access Database Table

Ever received the "Too Many Fields Defined" Error message when saving your database table?

Microsoft Access keeps an internal count of the total number of fields in a database table and has a limit of 255 fields per table.

Each time that you change a property for a field, the column count is incremented by 1. Also, whenever you delete a field, the column count isn't decreased, but remains the same.

When you delete a field, Microsoft Access does NOT reset this counter. So it's possible for you to have less than 255 fields and still get this error message.

If your field count is less than 255, just compact the database again which should reset the internal field count counter.

This error is more commonly encountered in a database that hasn't been correctly normalised and has excessively large tables with many, many fields. In this case, the better solution would be to redesign the database so that it is normalised to third normal form.