Disable the Microsoft Access Close Button to Prevent Users from Accidentally Closing Your Application
Provided by: Luke Chung, President of FMS, Inc.
Accidentally Closing the Access Database Application
Microsoft Access offers all sorts of events on forms and
reports so you can control what the user does, and prevent mistakes such
as users closing the form when you don't want them.
However, Microsoft Access doesn't offer a Close
Event for the program itself. The result is users accidentally closing
Access when they shouldn't.
I've found myself guilty of this when I think I'm
closing a table, form, or report and accidentally close Access. What a
pain! And it can be particularly troublesome if you're modifying data or
This often happens when users are previewing a maximized
report and confusing the [X] for closing the report with the [X] for
Most users learn the hard way that the big [X] isn't
what they want. It's not an intuitive design.
It's one thing when a developer makes this mistake, but
quite a problem if your users have to experience it, then learn, "Don't
do that". Clearly, that's not an acceptable solution.
Invisible Form Approach and its Limitations
One technique for preventing this is the use of a
hidden form to trap for its OnClose event. This form is opened when the
application starts and when it's closed unexpectedly, cancels the Close
event and thereby prevents Access from closing. The problem with this is
that it's triggered once the Access' close process starts, so other
objects in the application may have closed already before this form
closes which may leave the user in an inconsistent state.
What Should Really Exist
Ideally, Microsoft Access would offer an Access Close
event that you could control and prevent. Unfortunately that doesn't
exist. Seems rather ironic that the minor close events of individual
objects can be trapped but the big one is not trappable.
Barring the Microsoft Access development team addressing
this, wouldn't it be ideal to simply disable to close button?
Fortunately, you can.
Issues with Microsoft Access 2007 and Windows XP
It turns out that this code does not work with the
original version of MS Access
2007 on Windows XP. Running the same code in an earlier version of
Microsoft Access on the same Windows XP machine works fine. And running the code
in Access 2007 with Windows Vista or Windows 7 also works fine. With the
SP2 version of Access 2007, this now works.
Code to Disable the Close Button
This example comes from
SourceBook, our royalty-free code library.
The code is from module
modAccessWindow in the
Access, Environment category. The module also
includes code to manage the control box, and the
transparency and opacity of form windows.
Windows API Calls
There are two Windows API calls to use. Add these to the
declarations section of your module:
Private Declare Function GetSystemMenu Lib "user32" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal wRevert As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function EnableMenuItem Lib "user32" (ByVal hMenu As Long, ByVal wIDEnableItem As Long, ByVal wEnable As Long) As Long
Procedure to Disable and Enable the Close Button
Create this procedure:
Public Sub AccessCloseButtonEnabled(pfEnabled As Boolean)
' Comments: Control the Access close button.
' Disabling it forces the user to exit within the application
' Params : pfEnabled TRUE enables the close button, FALSE disabled it
' Owner : Copyright (c) FMS, Inc.
' Source : Total Visual SourceBook
' Usage : Permission granted to subscribers of the FMS Newsletter
On Error Resume Next
Const clngMF_ByCommand As Long = &H0&
Const clngMF_Grayed As Long = &H1&
Const clngSC_Close As Long = &HF060&
Dim lngWindow As Long
Dim lngMenu As Long
Dim lngFlags As Long
lngWindow = Application.hWndAccessApp
lngMenu = GetSystemMenu(lngWindow, 0)
If pfEnabled Then
lngFlags = clngMF_ByCommand And Not clngMF_Grayed
lngFlags = clngMF_ByCommand Or clngMF_Grayed
Call EnableMenuItem(lngMenu, clngSC_Close, lngFlags)
Disabling the Close Button
When your application starts, simply call this to
disable the close button:
You'll see that the MS Access close button is now
The user can only exit the program through your
Enabling the Close Button
When your application ends, simply call this to enable
the close button:
Caution: Need to Manage Errors Properly
Be careful what you ask for! Now that your users cannot
exit your program by closing Access directly, you need to make sure your
application doesn't get stuck in an infinite loop or dead-end (where
there's no exit). You'll also need to properly handle errors and exit
gracefully if there's a problem. If not, your users will be forced to
use Task Manager to close your instance of Access. Not good.
To ensure you handle unexpected errors properly, make
sure you have error handling throughout your application with a global
error handler routine. Additional resources to help you are:
Hope this helps. Good luck!