"Database error 0x80004005: ODBC connection failed" Error

Published: 06 Mar 2013
Last Modified Date: 30 Jul 2020


When connecting to a Microsoft Access query based on a linked table, you may see the following error message:

Database error 0x80004005: ODBC--connection to '<database>' failed.
The same error may also occur when connecting to Microsoft Access file that contains links to a Microsoft SQL Server database that uses authentication.


  • Tableau Desktop
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft SQL Server


To resolve the issue when performing a query from an Access linked table, you can do one of the following tasks:
  • Make the query into a table using Access in Design view.
  • Alternatively, you can import the tables referenced in the query instead of using linked tables.
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To resolve the issue when connecting to an Access file that links to a SQL Server database that uses authentication, connect directly to SQL Server from Tableau Desktop.  


  • In the first case, the issue is caused by limitation in Access and likely related to database authentication when using linked tables.
  • In the second case, it is not possible to pass the SQL Server credentials to the database from Access. 
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