How to get a larger number value from an AutoNumber data type in Microsoft Access

Ok, Access users who want to use the AutoNumber data type but don’t want to get stuck starting with 1, 2, 3 for the first three records. You can work around this issue with an Update querry.

1. Create your data table.

2. Make your primary key field have the AutoNumber data type with the rest of your fields.

3. Fill out a test record with the first record being #1 on the autonumber value. You will delete this record later

4. Copy and Paste the structure only of the base table.

5. Change the AutoNumber field to a Number data type.

6. Record a test record with a large number that you want to start with. For example, if you enter 499 as a test record then when you start with your first real data record it would begin with 500.

7. Close any tables that are open.

8. Use the simple query wizard with all the fields from the table with the number field (from step 6).

9. Click Append from the query design view and send the data to the first table with the autonumber. Run the query.

9a. Confirm update

10. Delete the test records and enter your first record. You would have forced the autonumber to resume on the next highest integer.


About Steve Chase

I'm a proud husband and dad to 4 boys! Microsoft Certified Trainer and Boy Scout Leader are some of things I call myself. The Cincinnati Reds are my favorite team! When not outdoors, I enjoy working with documents in Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Visio and Photoshop. My wife, Erin, shares her awesome recipes on her blog at
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One Response to How to get a larger number value from an AutoNumber data type in Microsoft Access

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