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This article lists the changes in features and functionality between Microsoft Access 2013 and Access 2010. It also describes how the changes might impact your Access database and provides alternatives for some of the removed features and functionality.

Note: If you are switching from Access 2007, see the article Discontinued features and modified functionality in Access 2010, which covers the major changes between Access 2007 and Access 2010.

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Additional Information

Access Data Projects (ADP)

The ability to open Access Data Project files has been fully removed.

Access 2013 SQL-based databases will replace much of the benefit of ADPs.

Here are some alternatives to ADPs:

  • Convert the ADP to a linked Access Desktop Database.

  • Convert the ADP to a full SQL-based solution.

  • Import objects into an ACCDE file and then create linked tables to the existing data by using an earlier version of Access.

Changes in Access 2013

Access support of Jet 3.x IISAM

You can no longer open an Access 97 database in Access 2013. You'll need to upgrade the file. To do this, open it in Access 2010 or Access 2007, save it in the .accdb file format, and then open it in Access 2013.

This change also affects databases that are linked to Access 97 databases.

ACCDB is the recommended format for desktop databases.

Open the Access 97 database file in a version of Access later than Access 97 but earlier than Access 2013, and convert it to a version no earlier than Access 2000. Access 2013 supports Access 2000 and later versions, through Access 2010.

Removing support because the Jet 3.x IISAM driver is no longer available.

PivotCharts and PivotTables

There are no options to create PivotCharts and PivotTables in Access 2013, because Office Web Components are no longer supported.

Use enhanced PivotChart and PivotTable capabilities in Excel.

Charts that are not PivotCharts and that use the MSGraph component are still available in Access 2013. Charts that are created by the Chart Wizard component are still supported.

For background on the Office Web Components life cycle, see the following blog post: Office Web Components “Roadmap”.

Text and Memo data types

Text and Memo data types have been renamed and given slightly modified functionality.

The Text data type has been renamed "Short Text." A Short Text field can contain up to 255 characters in a desktop database. In an Access app, the default character limit is 255, but it can be increased to 4000 in the field properties.

The Memo data type has been renamed "Long Text." A Long Text field can contain up to about a gigabyte of data in a desktop database, and up to 2^30-1 bytes in an Access app.

In desktop databases, Long Text fields can be configured to contain Rich Text. However, the Rich Text option is not available in Access Apps.

dBASE support removed from Access

dBASE support is removed – you can no longer connect to an external dBASE database.

Smart Tags property

Smart Tags (Action Tags) are no longer supported.

Access Data Collection

Access 2013 doesn't support creating new Data Collection forms. However, it does process data collection forms that were created in earlier versions of Access.


The data collection feature enabled customers to create data collection forms and send those forms as an email message. When customers returned those email messages, the data was processed and stored in an Access database.

Access 2003 toolbar and menus

You can no longer bypass the Ribbon interface and show Access 2003 toolbars and menus in Access 2013 as you could in 2007 and Access 2010. But you can make them appear on the Add-ins tab, or add them to a custom Ribbon group or the Quick Access Toolbar.

Access 2003 Toolbars and menus are shown in the Add-ins tab on the Ribbon. Adding them to a custom Ribbon group is also supported. You can also use RibbonX and XML to create a custom ribbon for your desktop database.

Access Replication Options

When opening an .mdb file in Access 2010 or earlier, the Replication Options were shown on the Database Tools tab. These options are not available in Access 2013.


Support for replication is fully removed from Access 2013.

Access Source Code Control

The Source Code Control add-in lets Microsoft Visual SourceSafe or other source code control systems integrate to allow check-in/check-out of queries, forms, reports, macros, modules, and data. The Developer Source Code Control is not available as an add-in for Access 2013.


Access Three-State Workflow

The entry points for workflow are no longer available. In user interface macros, the Workflow commands are not available. If you open an existing Access 2010 database that has UI Macros with StartNewWorkFlow or Workflow tasks, Access 2013 displays a warning.


Access Upsizing Wizard

The Upsizing Wizard lets you scale up Access database tables to a new or existing Microsoft SQL Server database. This wizard has been removed for Access 2013.

To do this, run the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard (in SQL Server Management Studio) to import your Access tables into a SQL Server database.

Then, create a new custom Access web app, and import the tables from SQL Server into the web app.

Access Package Solution Wizard

The Package Solution Wizard has been removed. The Package Solution Wizard allowed you to package an Access desktop database file along with Access Runtime and to distribute the files to others.

Rather than package up a desktop database for distribution to others, the better way to go in Access 2013 is to create an Access app. You can save an Access app as a package to submit to the Office App Marketplace or an internal corporate catalog.

If you do create a desktop database that you decide you want to share with others who may not have a full version of Access 2013 installed, you can give the database to others and have them download the Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime.

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