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Description of how to run multiple versions of Microsoft Access with Access 2003

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Although we do not recommend it, you can install and use more than one version of Microsoft Access on a single computer. For example, you can install and use both Microsoft Office Access 2003 and Microsoft Access 2000 on the same computer. This article describes the problems that may occur if you do this. This article describes how you may prevent different versions of Access from conflicting with each other.

Note We do not support using multiple versions of Access on Terminal Server. Coexistence is not supported on versions of Windows that are running Terminal Services. If you have to run multiple versions of Access, you must disable Terminal Services.

Follow the correct order of installation

If you want to install and to use more than one version of Access on the same computer, you must install the earliest version first. For example, if you want to use both Access 2000 and Access 2003 on the same computer, you must install Access 2000 first. You must do this because of the way that the following are managed for each version of Access:
  • Registry keys
  • Shared programs
  • File name extensions
  • Other settings
The following table shows the order that you must follow to install each version of Access.
Access versionInstallation order
Access 2000first
Access 2002second
Access 2003third
Note You must apply all service packs before you install the next version of Access.

The information that follows assumes that you install the versions of Access in the order that is mentioned in the previous table.

Notice that the Access bin folder location changes to the \Office11 folder

When you install Access 2003, the default folder for the Setup program is still the \Program Files\Microsoft Office folder. However, the Access 2003 bin folder changes to the \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11 folder. The Msaccess.exe file is installed in the bin folder. The default bin folder for Access 2002 is the \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10 folder. The default bin folder for Access 2000 is the \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office folder.

Use shortcuts on the Start menu

Access 2000 and Access 2002 use the same shortcut name on the Start menu to start programs. Because of this behavior, when you install Access 2002, the Setup program overwrites the shortcut for the earlier version that is the Access 2000 shortcut.

Access 2003 automatically installs its shortcut in the Office subfolder on the Start menu. The new Access 2003 shortcut is versioned with "2003" appended to the shortcut name. However, to avoid confusion, we suggest that you add the version number to each shortcut for the earlier products. For example, rename the shortcut that points to Microsoft Access to Microsoft Access 2000 before you install Access 2002 or Access 2003.

If you manually move the shortcut for either Access 2000 or Access 2002, and then you reinstall the product or repair the shortcut, the shortcut is re-created on the Programs submenu on the Start menu.

Double-click an Access database file in Microsoft Windows Explorer

When you double-click an Access database file in Windows Explorer, or when you click an Access database file from the Recent Documents folder in Windows, the following rules apply:
  • If a version of Access is running, the Access database file opens in that version.
  • If no version of Access is running, the Access database file opens in the version of Access that you most recently installed on your computer or in the version of Access that you last used on your computer. Every time that you start Access, Access registers itself as the version to load the Access database file with.
To re-associate an Access database file with a particular version of Access, you can start that version of Access. Or, you can run the Setup program and then click Repair Office. When you do this, the file associations for that version of Access are registered.
coexist together several mdb

Article ID: 870961 - Last Review: 12/08/2015 07:48:40 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Access 2000 Standard Edition

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