How to save a list of Windows files in an Access Database

To save a list Windows Explorer files and folders in a database table, there are three steps:

  1. Create a list of files. The file list can be selected individual files, the files in a folder, or perhaps the result of a file search using filter condition. There are several ways to make a list of file using DDFileCatcher.
  2. Save the list to a disk file in XML or CSV format.
  3. Import the XML or CSV file list into the Access either as a new table or appended to an an existing table.

This method works for any database, not just Access. DDFileCatcher lets you easily collect files and folders by dragging and droping them from Windows Explorer. It can also search subfolders and entire disks. You can then save the file information to CSV or XML files for importing into your database.

In this example, which uses Access 2007, we want to put the two files below in a new Access table. We launch the DDFileCatcher and drag and drop the files onto it, or use one of the other methods for adding files. We select "XML without DTD" on the output tab, and then save the file information to an XML file. This method also works with other databases and applications that can import XML files. Here are more up-to-date version to import a file list into Access 2013.

file list for saving to access in XML

Access menu for importing XML file list

With Microsoft Access 2007, use the "XML File" button on the "External Data" tab. You will be led through a procedure to import the XML you saved either into a new table or at the end of an existing table.

import options for xml to access table

On the next page of the Access XML import wizard, select the import option you want. For a new table, this should be "Structure with Data".

You should only choose "Append Data to Existing Table(s)" if the XML file you saved with DDFileCatcher has the same file properties in the same order as the table to which you want to append the information.

file list in access table

The file information is now in the Access table, and can be filtered, manipulated, and used in any way in the database. This example uses just 2 files and 3 file properties. Over file properties and thousands of files can be listed with DDFileCatcher.


"All the sample files, which are spread out over an number of disks hidden in deep directories, have now been listed and location registered into an Access Database where I can rate them, find them, sort and finally relate each samples to the individual composition projects, which can use many samples. DDFileCatcher has saved me an enormous amount of work and is well worth what I paid for it". Gordon Corbridge, SONAR synthesizer software user

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