Converting an Access Database to SQL Server

Is your Access database growing too large or unwieldy? Perhaps you need to allow more robust multiuser access to the database? Converting your Access database to Microsoft SQL Server might be the solution you’re trying to find. Fortunately, Microsoft provides an Upsizing Wizard in Access that makes it easy to convert your database. In this tutorial, we walk through the process of converting your database.

If you're looking for a SQL Server tool that offers a similar migration path, you may wish to look at the SQL Server Migration Assistant.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: One hour

Here's How:

  1. Open your database in Microsoft Access.
  2. Choose the Database Tools tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the SQL Server button located in the Move Data section. This will open the Upsizing Wizard shown in the image.
  4. Select whether you would like to import the data into an existing database or create a new database for your data. We'll assume that you're trying to create a new SQL Server database using the data in your Access database. Click Next to continue.
  5. Provide the connection information for your SQL Server installation. You'll need to provide the name of the server, credentials for an administrator with permission to create a database and the name of the database you wish to connect. Click Next after providing this information.
  1. Use the arrow buttons to move the tables you wish to transfer to the list labeled Export to SQL Server. Click the Next button to continue.
  2. Review the default attributes that will be transferred and make any changes desired. You have the option to preserve settings for table indexes, validation rules and relationships, among other settings. When done, click the Next button to continue.
  1. Decide how you want to handle your Access application. You may choose to create a new Access client/server application that accesses the SQL Server database, modify your existing application to reference the data stored on SQL Server, or copy the data without making any changes to your Access database.
  2. Click Finish and wait for the upsizing process to complete. Once you are done, review the upsizing report for important information about the database migration.


  1. This tutorial was written for Access 2010 users. The Upsizing Wizard first appeared in Access 97 but the specific process will vary for users of other versions.

What You Need: