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Access creates databases in the .accdb file format. This format supports features such as multivalued fields, data macros, and attachment fields.

You can convert databases that were created in Microsoft Office Access 2003, Access 2002, Access 2000, or Access 97 to the .accdb file format. Keep in mind, though, that a database in the .accdb file format cannot be opened or linked to by using versions of Access earlier than Access 2007.

In addition, the .accdb format does not support replication or user-level security. If you need to share your database with people who use Access 2003 or earlier, or if you need to use replication or user-level security, you must use the .mdb file format.

Note: Even though they share the same file format, some features in Access 2010 and newer versions cannot be used in Access 2007.

In this article

Convert an Access 2000 or Access 2002 - 2003 database to the .accdb format

To convert an Access 2000 or Access 2002 - 2003 database (.mdb) to the .accdb file format, you must first open the database by using Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013, or Access 2016, and then save it in the .accdb file format.

  1. Click File, and then click Open.

  2. Click the Access 2000 or Access 2002 - 2003 database (.mdb) that you want to convert.

    Note: If the Database Enhancement dialog box appears, the database is using a file format that is earlier than Access 2000. To continue, see the section Convert an Access 97 database to the .accdb format.

  3. Click File, click Save As, and then click Save Database As.

  4. Choose the Access file type, and then click Save As.

    If any database objects are open when you click Save As, Access prompts you to close them prior to creating the copy. Click Yes to make Access close the objects, or click No to cancel the entire process. If needed, Access will also prompt you to save any changes.

  5. In the Save As dialog box, type a file name in the File name box, and then click Save.

    Access creates the copy of the database, and then opens the copy. Access automatically closes the original database.

Convert an Access 97 database to the .accdb format

Starting with Access 2013, it’s no longer possible to directly convert an Access 97 database (.mdb) to the .accdb file format. However, you can open an Access 97 database in a previous version of Access, and then save the database in a format that Access 2013 can open. For example, here’s how to use Access 2003 to open an Access 97 database, then convert it to a format that can be opened by Access 2013:

  1. Open the Access 97 database in Access 2003.

  2. Click Tools > Database Utilities > Convert Database > to Access 2002-2003 file format.

  3. Enter a name for the database and click Save.

  4. Close Access 2003 and open Access 2013.

  5. Open the database and click File > Save As > Access Database (.accdb) > Save As > Save.

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