How to open mdb or accdb files without Access installed

open mdb accdb accessRecently a colleague of mine sent me a Microsoft Access file for viewing purposes. Unfortunately, I have the entire Microsoft Office suite installed but no Microsoft Access.

I could just pop in the Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 cd and install Access but the cd was not with me at that time.

I needed to be able to view the content of the .mdb and .accdb files the soonest as possible so that work can be started immediately.

To do that I searched the web for applications that could help launch the Access file without having MS Access installed.

One such software is called MDB Viewer Plus – a freeware viewer and editor for Microsoft Access file. This app is basically a free, quick, and easy way for one to view, edit, sort, and search MDB / ACCDB files without having Access installed.

Some key features of MDB Viewer Plus include:

  • Search
  • Inline table viewing
  • Filtering and sorting fields
  • Run queries
  • Renaming and deleting tables
  • etc.

I installed MDB Viewer Plus (2.6MB), and immediately launched the Access file.

Indeed, I could view all the defined tables and columns together with their data. However, the user interface for the forms was not there – a limitation of MDB Viewer Plus.

So if you are required to make some changes to the forms or even macros within the Access database, don’t bother downloading and installing MDB Viewer Plus.

But if all you need is to look at what sort of data is in the database as well as its column and tables, then this freeware application allows you to view the content of .MDB and .ACCDB files without having Access installed.

See below for a sample screenshot on MDB Viewer Plus.

launch and open mdb or accdb viewer files

For more details on how to use MDB Viewer Plus to open mdb or accdb files without Access installed, head on over to  Alex Nolan’s site.

About the author

Hello there! My name is Bob Lee, and I have honed my skills as a web developer and technical wordsmith, focusing on the creation and evaluation of web applications.

For more than ten years, I’ve navigated through various roles such as an entrepreneur, blogger, developer, and tech enthusiast, thoroughly enjoying each experience.

To manage time effectively, I rely on Sanebox, to intelligently organize my inbox, bringing sanity to my email management process.


  • This application works as suggested, I was able to recover information from the tables without having Access installed. Bandwidth was justified.

  • Thanks very much for this blog post. Open Office would not run the MDB file without crashing however this software worked great, cheers.

  • fgunckel and Dylan, glad it works for you and thanks for taking time to leave a feedback. Appreciate it.

  • Any experienced IT pro will tell you that the first thing you do is search the developer / distributor site.

    Microsoft has always made viewers for their files. The one for Access is called Snapshot. It’s under 2MB and it supports every Access file from ’97 to 2007.

  • What does it mean “Provider cannot be found. It may not be installed properly.”? It does not open the *.accdb file that was sent to me to look at.
    Help. Thx.

  • The MS Snapshot viewer only opens Snapshot files, and not mdb or accdb files.
    This program is exactly what I needed.

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