Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Select a different account.
You have multiple accounts
Choose the account you want to sign in with.

You can use the RunApplication macro action in Access desktop databases to run a Microsoft Windows-based application, such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, from within Microsoft Office. For example, you may want to paste Excel spreadsheet data into your Access database.

Security Note: Use caution when running executable files or code in macros or applications. Executable files or code can be used to carry out actions that might compromise the security of your computer and data.

Note: Beginning in Access 2010, the RunApp macro action was renamed to RunApplication.

Note: This action will not be allowed if the database is not trusted.


The RunApplication macro action has the following argument.

Action argument


Command Line

The command line used to start the application (including the path and any other necessary parameters, such as switches that run the application in a particular mode). Enter the command line in the Command Line box in the Action Arguments section of the macro design window. This is a required argument.


The application selected with this macro action loads and runs in the foreground. The macro containing this action continues to run after starting the application.

You can transfer data between the other application and Access by using the Microsoft Windows dynamic data exchange (DDE) facility or the Clipboard. You can use the SendKeys macro action to send keystrokes to the other application (although DDE is a more efficient method for transferring data). You can also share data among applications by using automation.

MS-DOS-based applications run in an MS-DOS window within the Windows environment.

In Windows operating systems, there are a number of ways to run an application, including starting the program from the Windows Explorer, using the Run command on the Start menu, and double-clicking a program icon on the Windows Desktop.

You can't run the RunApplication macro action in a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module. Use the VBA Shell function instead.

Need more help?

Want more options?

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?
By pressing submit, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services. Your IT admin will be able to collect this data. Privacy Statement.

Thank you for your feedback!