Recordset.FindFirst method (DAO)

Applies to: Access 2013, Office 2013

Locates the first record in a dynaset- or snapshot-type Recordset object that satisfies the specified criteria and makes that record the current record (Microsoft Access workspaces only).


expression .FindFirst(Criteria)

expression A variable that represents a Recordset object.




Data type





A String used to locate the record. It is like the WHERE clause in an SQL statement, but without the word WHERE.


If you want to include all the records in your search — not just those that meet a specific condition — use the Move methods to move from record to record. To locate a record in a table-type Recordset, use the Seek method.

If a record matching the criteria isn't located, the current record pointer is unknown, and the NoMatch property is set to True. If recordset contains more than one record that satisfies the criteria, FindFirst locates the first occurrence, FindNext locates the next occurrence, and so on.

Each of the Find methods begins its search from the location and in the direction specified in the following table.

Find method

Begins searching at

Search direction


Beginning of recordset

End of recordset


End of recordset

Beginning of recordset


Current record

End of recordset


Current record

Beginning of recordset

Using one of the Find methods isn't the same as using a Move method, however, which simply makes the first, last, next, or previous record current without specifying a condition. You can follow a Find operation with a Move operation.

Always check the value of the NoMatch property to determine whether the Find operation has succeeded. If the search succeeds, NoMatch is False. If it fails, NoMatch is True and the current record isn't defined. In this case, you must position the current record pointer back to a valid record.

Using the Find methods with Microsoft Access database engine-connected ODBC-accessed recordsets can be inefficient. You may find that rephrasing your criteria to locate a specific record is faster, especially when working with large recordsets.

When working with Microsoft Access database engine-connected ODBC databases and large dynaset-type Recordset objects, you might discover that using the Find methods or using the Sort or Filter property is slow. To improve performance, use SQL queries with customized ORDER BY or WHERE clauses, parameter queries, or QueryDef objects that retrieve specific indexed records.

You should use the U.S. date format (month-day-year) when you search for fields containing dates, even if you're not using the U.S. version of the Microsoft Access database engine; otherwise, the data may not be found. Use the Visual Basic Format function to convert the date. For example:

    rstEmployees.FindFirst "HireDate > #" _ 
        & Format(mydate, 'm-d-yy' ) & "#" 

If criteria is composed of a string concatenated with a non-integer value, and the system parameters specify a non-U.S. decimal character such as a comma (for example, strSQL = "PRICE > " & lngPrice, and lngPrice = 125,50), an error occurs when you try to call the method. This is because during concatenation, the number will be converted to a string using your system's default decimal character, and Microsoft Access SQL only accepts U.S. decimal characters.


For best performance, the criteria should be in either the form "field = value" where field is an indexed field in the underlying base table, or "field LIKE prefix" where field is an indexed field in the underlying base table and prefix is a prefix search string (for example, "ART*" ).

In general, for equivalent types of searches, the Seek method provides better performance than the Find methods. This assumes that table-type Recordset objects alone can satisfy your needs.


The following example shows how to use the FindFirst and FindNext methods to find a record in a Recordset.

Sample code provided by the Microsoft Access 2010 Programmer’s Reference.

    Sub FindOrgName()
        Dim dbs As DAO.Database
        Dim rst As DAO.Recordset
        'Get the database and Recordset
        Set dbs = CurrentDb
        Set rst = dbs.OpenRecordset("tblCustomers")
        'Search for the first matching record   
        rst.FindFirst "[OrgName] LIKE '*parts*'"
        'Check the result
        If rst.NoMatch Then
            MsgBox "Record not found."
            GotTo Cleanup
            Do While Not rst.NoMatch
                MsgBox "Customer name: " & rst!CustName
                rst.FindNext "[OrgName] LIKE '*parts*'"
            'Search for the next matching record
            rst.FindNext "[OrgName] LIKE '*parts*'"
        End If
            Set rst = Nothing
            Set dbs = Nothing
    End Sub