Microsoft Access – Error Message – “Searching for referenced file: EXCEL.EXE”



We have a dated application that uses MS Access 2010 as a front-end. And, SQL Server in its backend.

It is a bit finicky.


Yesterday the Department’s lead reached out to me informing me that he is not able to open or run the Access App on his new machine.

I went by and suggested that the problem likely lies with the fact that the App relies on Office 2013, but he is trying to run it on his new machine outfitted with Office 2016.

Will return to his problem in a later post.


Today’s problem is different.  A few of his workers reported general slowness and errors.

Went By

There Office Space is only 9 blocks from ours and so took the opportunity to take a nice walk.

Julia showed me the problem and it is posted below…




Searching for referenced file: EXCEL.EXE

Googled for Help

Googled for help and found help via Microsoft itself :

How to resolve reference issues in an Access database



  1. Ensure that you have MS Excel Installed
    • Start MS Excel
    • Note the Version Number
    • Using Task Manager, record Folder Location of MS Excel
  2. Revert Referenced Excel in Microsoft Access
    • Launched MS Access
    • Open Database
    • Launch Visual Basic Editor by pressing ALT-F11
    • Navigate the menu by clicking Tools and References
    • The “Available References” window appear
      • Uncheck “MISSING: Microsoft Excel 16.0 Object Library”
      • Check “Microsoft Excel 14.0 Object Library”


References – Microsoft Excel 16.0 Object Library


References – Microsoft Excel 14.0 Object Library



Dedicated to the Floyds and Julias of our World.

They are busy with their work, but allow you to eat away at their productivity in offering you their sit.

This is still the best way to get a good and full view of the problem.

But, honestly, it serves a more important role and that is to determine whether it is a problem one can live with or not.


  1. How to resolve reference issues in an Access database

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