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FAQ: Why does a personal geodatabase perform slowly?

Question

Why does a personal geodatabase perform slowly?

Answer

Performance of a personal geodatabase degrades as the size of the .mdb file increases to 500 MB and higher.

Performance can be optimized by compacting the data. See the following article for more information on compacting a personal geodatabase:
Compacting personal geodatabases.

If performance is poor after compacting, store the data in a File or ArcSDE geodatabase.