As questions come up with using Access or Windows, I will add whatever information I have to this page. Some issues may be difficult to solve, since everyone's computer is configured differently and there are many possible combinations of Windows and Office versions and email providers. If you cannot find a solution on the page, you may want to Google the issue to see if a solution is available online.

It is usually most helpful to email with as specific information about the problem as you can give. If you have a question about how to do a task, then an email is usually enough. If you have a problem with how the program is working, I will usually need your data file (AgilityData.mde, ObedienceData.mde, HerdingData.mde, etc) to determine the cause of the problem. When I respond by email, you will have a written description of the solution. Phone calls are usually more difficult for me to pick up, depending on my work schedule; often end up with requiring the data file to be sent; and do not provide hard copy information for future reference.


Program Startup

The program starts to open and then closes.

There's no one issue that causes this. In Windows 10, there is an issue with folder rights or security. It may help to share the database folder. Another cause is that the database folder or files are blocked or marked as read-only. Right-click on the file name and select Properties to determine if that is the cause.


Your computer does not recognize the file type.

You must have Microsoft Access (2007 or higher) to run the program. At this time, there is not a run-time version available. The program does not work in Open Office or any other database program.


I get a message that my version is not the current version.

The agility and obedience programs will check that you have the current version when you start up. If you get this message, you are missing an important update to the program, usually one that reflects changes in the AKC regulations. You should NOT SET UP your upcoming event, but instead, email me you data file for updating.


I get a message that my version that the data file cannot be found.

The program looks on your computer for a file with the name (program)data.mde (eg, AgilityData.mde or ObedienceData.mde). If you have renamed your data file, the program will not be able to find it. Your active data file should always have that name.



Email issues

The program does not use my default email account to send emails from Outlook.

Starting with Outlook 2010, Outlook does not necessarily use the default email acccount to send messages.
To fix this, you will need to change your computer's registry, which can be have serious effects if not done correctly.
Fix default email account issue in Outlook 2010 and above


I cannot set up my gmail account in Outlook.

This is a problem that may be most easily solved by searching on the internet. You will be able to find multiple websites that show you how to set up an account in Outlook for a gmail email account.
The only complication you may encounter is that Google may consider Outlook to be an unsecure app and not allow you to create the account.
There are 3 options to handle the unsecure app issue:
  • 1. Use a different email program.
  • 2. Go to your Google Mail settings online and enable less secure apps.
  • 3. Set up a 2 step verification process in your Google Mail settings online. The resulting verification code will become your password when you set up your gmail account in Outlook.

    When I try to send an email through Outlook, I get the error "Method 'Body' of object _mailitem failed".

    This is due to changes in Windows starting with version 8.1 and was fixed in 2014. If you are getting this error, you need an updated version of your program.


    I cannot email my data file.

    There are many reasons that this may happen. The data file is a compiled database (file name extension .mde) and is the type of file that may contain code. Any type of file that is used for code could be used for a virus. Some email providers will not allow files that may contain code to be sent or received. (In fact, the data file does not contain any code.)

    You may be able to get around this restriction by one of the following
  • Compress the data file as a .zip file using Winzip or Windows own compression utility.
  • Change the file extension (the last 3 letters) to .txt or to a nonsense 3 letter combination, such as .abc or .piz (.zip backwards).
    NOTE: If you cannot see the last 3 letters of the file name (the part after the .), you will have to go to the folder for your computer and set the file properties so that extensions are not hidden. Depending on your version of Windows, this setting can be in different places. In Windows 10, open your This PC folder, and at the top, click View and then check File Extensions.
  • Use a cloud service like Dropbox or GoogleDrive to upload your file and then send me the link to access it.

    I can send initial confirmation emails (from the entry screen) but I cannot send final confirmation letters by email.

    When you create the initial confirmation letter from the entry screen, the program uses whatever email program is set as your default email program for your computer. This is the email program that will open automatically if you click on an email address in a document or on a website. As an exercise to see which program is your default, click here

    You set the default email program for your computer in your default settings for your computer. The default email program does not prevent you from using any email program you want (or web-based email) -- it only controls which program is automatically opened when your computer gets a command to create an email.

    The email final confirmation letters are specifically created in Outlook or Outlook Express/Windows Mail. If you do not have one of those programs set up on your computer, you will not be able to send final confirmations by email. You can use the Create Letters command to create a PDF version of the confirmation letter for each exhibitor and send those PDF files yourself.



    Printing issues

    The report does not print on one page when it should.

    Some of the reports in the program use small margins, and they require a printer that is capable of printing to small margins. If the information goes to a second page when it should not, it is usually due to the printer reformatting it because it cannot handle the margin spacing. You will see this when you open the report (which is a Print Preview) because your computer uses the properties of your default printer to show you the report.
    You may be able to fix this by:
  • Use a different printer that can print to smaller margins.
  • If the report has rows of information, use the Print Dialog box to open the Page Setup dialog. Make the row spacing smaller.



    How do I get my program updated?

    There is a $25 annual update fee. You will need to send me your data file (AgilityData, HerdingData, ObedienceData, etc) in order for me to do the update.
    You can either
  • Send an email to and attach the data file.
    Depending on your email service, you may not be able to send the file as is. You may need to rename the file with a different extension (the last 3 letters after the dot), such as AgilityData.bak (the file type of the backup file), AgilityData.txt, You may want to compress the file into a zip file to make it smaller, and you may need to change the name of that file as well, such as AgilityZipFile.piz or
  • You can upload your data file to a cloud service such as DropBox or OneDrive and then send me the link for the file.

    Where is my data file?

    The data file (AgilityData, ObedienceData, SpecialtyData, etc) is located in the same folder (Agility Solution folder, Obedience Solution folder, Specialty Solution folder) with all your other files. If you used the default location when you installed the program, that folder should be in the C:\Users\Public folder.
    When you open the program, you can see the path (location) of the data file on the main screen at the bottom center.


    How often should I get an update?

    Before you start your next event, you should check to see if there are any updates available. Agility Solution and Obedience Solution will prompt you when you start the program if your version is out of date (if you are connected to the Internet). Updates are done for every AKC rule change and often for updates to Windows or Access, if it creates an incompatability. Updates are also done as new features are added or bugs are discovered.