HOWTO extract embedded images from an access database

My problem

I was to extract a couple of hundred images embedded inside an access database. The images was OLE inserted, we have to extract the image from the blob.

After searching the net after tools that were capable to extract images I found some script that used sendkey to get the OLE responsible application to save the images. I didn't have the applications.

Windowsplatform and access database...

One solution AccessImgExtract.exe

(1) access-database-filename
Get the access-database filename, (*.mdb)
Only tested with the .mdb format, probably will not work on .accdb format
(2) tablename inside the mdb-database
Used to open the table inside the access database
(3) database column, field to store the blob/active-x image
This is used to access the right field
(4) field with a counter or descriptive name for the image file
Must be an uniqe name because the files wont be overwritten (=runtime error)
The file extension is selected by looking inside the blob and figuring out what kind of file it is.
(.pdf | .office | .dib | .jpg | .png | .psd | .cpt | .wmf | .tif | .gif | .psp | .bmp)
If it can't figure out the file-type it will use the extension .dmp
the .office file-type is used for all MS-office files, rename it after extraction
(5) If you wish to filter the output, use a field to filter on and only matched rows in the access table will be processed.
(6) Directory to store the output files
Don't forget the trailing backslash
(7) Dump content of BLOB to [file].dmp
Don't look inside the blob trying to figure out what kind of it is, you can rename it after the extraction.
(8) Go...
Start the extraction

From database to image-files

  1. Place the access database on the machine with access installed (need DAO to access access)
  2. Extract bmp, jpg, gif, psd, psp, cpt, png, wmf, tif images with the tool. (also extract pdf and .office files)
  3. For other formats, drop me a line.


You can use a column in the database to filter on. Set the field you wish to filter on. The filter value will be used as follows:

Command Line

Usage: AccessImgExtract.exe [options] [mdb-filename]
where options include:
-t, --table=[table]tablename inside database, (2)
-fi, --field-image=[field]database column, field to store the blob/active-x image, (3)
-fn1=[field]field with a counter or descriptive name for the image file, (4)
-fn2=[field]filename can be made from 2 fields "field1 + field2"
-d, --dir=[directory]directory to store the image files, (5)
-ff, --field-filter=[field]field to filter on, default all
-fv, --filter-value=[value]se filter section
-fd, --filter-diruse filter field as sub-directory
Example: AccessImgExtract -t=table -fi=images -fn=id -d=c:\temp\output c:\temp\file.mdb

Download and go

More info

if you like we can help you with extracting the files, or do it yourself with the above tool.

More info/questions from: Subject: AccessImgExtract


2016-jul-21, version 0.18
small tweaks, tested in windows 10
2015-dec-14, version 0.14
priority for compound files moved to below raster images
2015-jul-31, version 0.13
some more filetypes: dwg, wmf(ver 3.1), jp2, crw, img
2011-okt-27, version 0.12
Small changes, Windows 7 etc
2009-okt-21, version 0.10
Swapped order for the blob identification. pdf first (can include jpg etc)
2008-okt-05, version 0.9.8
Command Line interface
2008-jul-08, version 0.9.7
Fix for some dib's, buggfix for psp and bmp(v3-header).
2008-maj-22, version 0.8.5
Minor fix to use field as folder name.
2008-maj-15, version 0.7
Fix for pdf,office files. New filter function.
2008-apr-08, version 0.6
Fix for GIF files
2008-feb-18, version 0.5
Fix for PSD files
2006-mar-10, version 0.4
Implement CPT7FILE, CorelPhotoPaint.Image.8, images
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