Making a local backup

You should not make changes to a Microsoft Access database unless you have a recent backup copy of the file. There's probably a regular daily routine that takes a backup copy of your whole Access database but this is likely to be under the control of your System Administrator and it might not be easy to trigger this backup every time that you want it. Retrieving the data from the corporate backup is also likely to require some form of official request so it's not a good solution for when you're trying to do some database development.

You need a convenient way of taking your own local backup copies before you make any serious changes to the design of tables, forms, or reports. A local copy lets you backtrack easily if you make a mistake or if you want to abandon this idea and try another approach.

The simplest way to make a backup is to copy and paste within the Access Database Window. It's a simple technique but very easy and effective.

Select the report (or whatever it is you're working with), copy it and paste it. Use whichever technique is most comfortable; the options on the Edit menu or the CTRL+C and CTRL+V shortcuts. Access will ask you for a new name so give the copy a name like 'oldReport' - choose something obvious because you should delete these copies once you're happy with your new design.

[Making a copy of a report in Microsoft Access]

If you do need to make a fresh start with your new design, delete the report you're abandoning, take another copy of the backup, and give it the name of the original report again.

The drawback with this technique is that the database will grow larger every time that you use it. You'll need to compact the database when you've finished the day's work in order to reduce its size again.