1. I can’t log into / open ACT!
This can often be due to SQL server (the database that makes ACT! work) not starting up when your computer starts up.Instructions for Restarting SQL Server (PDF)
2. My Outlook buttons are missing
The ACT! buttons are not visible on your Outlook toolbar. Instructions for connecting Outlook to ACT
3. I’d like to import a spreadsheet into ACT!
It’s easy to import data from an existing spreadsheet – just make sure each piece of information is in a separate column, and that there are no breaks in the rows. Instructions for importing data into Act! (PDF)
4. I’d like to change the contents of a field for multiple contacts
You can do this using Replace Field or swap with another field using Swap Field – for example to change the contents of the Country field to United Kingdom. Instructions on using Replace / Swap field
5. I need to move my database to a new machine
You can do this by creating a backup and then restoring it on another PC or server. Moving a database using Backup and Restore As (PDF)
6. Random name is showing up under a contact’s record manager instead of the correct user
This can happen when you have accidentally overwritten your “My Record” with a new contact’s details. To fix this, go to your My Record by selecting Lookup… My Record from the top toolbar and type the correct details back in. Make sure you re-add the other contact by adding a blank new record and filling their details in there.
7. Database says it needs to be locked when trying to edit or add new fields
You are trying to add new fields to your database (or edit existing ones) by going to Tools… Define Fields but the database says it must be locked first. This is because you cannot access Define Fields when other users are logged in – you must ask all other users to log out first. Alternatively, if this is not feasible (eg if users are in another office) you can just click Okay to the prompt, and all users will automatically be logged out in 3 minutes.
8. I can’t see custom fields on my screen but my colleague can
You have added custom fields to your database but you cannot see them on your machine – even though your colleague can see them on their own machine. This is because you have not changed your layout to the custom one. Find the drop-down that says Basic Contact Layout (underneath History/Search/Layout on the small toolbar) and then switch to your own layout. Alternatively, if you are running ACT! v11 (2009) or earlier, you must change your layout by clicking on Layout in the bottom left corner of the screen. Your fields should now be visible – and your custom layout will be remembered next time you log in!
9. I can’t access the main database on my machine
You cannot open the main database over a network, when it has been working previously – you get this error message:
“The database could not be accessed. In order to access this database, check your network connection and verify that your database server is available. It may be necessary to disable any firewall software…”
This can be due to a number of reasons – things to check can be found here.
10. How do I control which columns I see on my view / when I export to Excel?
To change which columns you see in List View, select Change Columns from the Related Tasks on the left-hand toolbar (when in List View) or choose Options… Customise Columns from the top right. This allows you to set the default columns that you see on YOUR machine only – it does not synchronise to other users in the same database.
When you export to Excel, only the columns you have set in List View will be exported, so make sure you set the columns up the way you want them before exporting!
11. I am using ACT! 2013 or earlier and I have upgraded to Office 2013 and it’s not working
Unfortunately ACT! 2013 (and earlier) and Office 2013 are not compatible. If you are using v16 or v17 then make sure that 1) Office is installed BEFORE Act! and also make sure Office is installed in 32-bit mode.
12. How do I check my ACT! backups are running properly
If you are running ACT! Premium or ACT! Pro 2009 or later then you can set up backups to run automatically – this makes it extremely easy to restore your data. This document shows you how to check the backups are running successfully. The ACT! knowledge base will show you how to set it up.