Is There Microsoft Access for Mac?

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 11 Min Read
11 Min Read

Hey there! You might be wondering if Microsoft offers a version of MS Access for Mac computers. The short answer is, unfortunately, no. MS Access is a super handy database tool, but it’s not made to work directly with Mac operating systems.

But don’t worry, there’s good news! You can still find ways to use MS Access on your Mac. It’s like finding a secret path in a video game – a bit tricky, but totally possible. In this article, we’re going to dive into some cool methods that let you run MS Access on your Mac. So, if you’re curious about how this magic happens, stick with me, and let’s explore these options together!

Why Can’t I Use Access Through Microsoft 365?

Ever played with Microsoft 365? It’s like a magic portal that lets you use Microsoft Office tools online, right from the cloud. You might be thinking, “Hey, maybe I can use Microsoft Access through Microsoft 365 on my Mac!” It sounds like a solid plan, especially since Access is included in Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscriptions or higher.

But here’s the catch: while most Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are totally Mac-friendly, Access plays hard to get. It’s like that one character in a game who just won’t join your team. Officially, Microsoft says Access is a PC-only deal.

When you peek at the MS 365 Business Standard package, you’ll see a bunch of familiar apps, but not Access for Mac.

So, straight-up using Microsoft 365 on your Mac desktop to access Access (pun intended!) is a no-go. But don’t let that get you down! We’ve got some clever tricks up our sleeve, and we’re about to share them with you. Let’s dive into these alternative solutions next!

Using Microsoft Access on Your Mac

So, you’ve got a Mac and you’re craving to use Microsoft Access. Well, Microsoft decided to make Access a Windows-only party. That means it’s not naturally compatible with Mac OS. But, like a secret level in a video game, there are hidden ways to get Access running on your Mac. Let’s check out these cool methods:

1. Virtual Machine

Think of a Virtual Machine (VM) like a shape-shifter. It’s a special tool that lets your Mac pretend it’s a Windows PC. Imagine opening a window on your Mac, and inside that window, it’s like a whole new computer running Windows. This is what a VM does!

With a VM, your Mac can run Windows, and in that Windows world, you can use any app that normally works on a PC. That includes Microsoft Access. Whether you have Microsoft Office, a Microsoft 365 Business Standard subscription, or just the standalone Access program, it’ll work in this virtual Windows environment.

The cool part? There are plenty of VM options for Mac. You can find free ones, trial versions, paid ones, and even cloud-based versions where you pay a monthly fee.

2. Remote Desktop

Got a Windows PC lying around or know someone who does? You can use a remote desktop connection to access it from your Mac. This is like remotely controlling the Windows PC from your Mac. Once you’re connected, you can run Access just like you’re sitting in front of that PC.

This method is super handy if you’ve already got Access installed on a Windows computer. You can even use it to log into a Microsoft 365 account that includes Access. Remote Desktop turns your Mac screen into a window to a Windows environment, giving you full access to Access (pun totally intended).

The best part? Microsoft Remote Desktop is a free app in the App Store. You can download it, connect to a Windows machine on your network, and you’re good to go. Check out the video below for a quick guide on using this app.

3. Install Windows on Your Macbook

Did you ever think your Mac could also be a Windows PC? It’s true! You can actually install Windows on your MacBook, right alongside macOS. This is like having two different superhero identities in one!

Apple’s Boot Camp is the secret ingredient here. It gives your MacBook dual-boot powers. This means when you start up your MacBook, you can choose whether to launch into macOS or Windows. It’s like picking your adventure each time you turn on your computer.

For Microsoft Access times, just boot up in Windows mode, and there you go! You can use either an installed version of Access or the one from Office 365. For more details on how to transform your MacBook with Boot Camp, there’s plenty of info out there.

4. Use a Third-Party App

There’s a world of third-party apps that let you interact with MS Access database files, right from your Mac. While most of these apps let you open, read, and display Access files, some go a step further, allowing you to edit and even create new databases.

One example is the “Viewer for Access Database” app available in the App Store. The free version is great for viewing data, and if you upgrade to the paid version, you get to edit data and make your own Access databases.

5. Use an Alternative

Last but not least, consider moving away from Access entirely. I know, it’s like leaving your favorite game for a new one. But sometimes, new games can be just as fun, or even better! There are many modern, Mac-friendly database apps out there.

FileMaker Pro, LibreOffice Base, and Google Forms are just a few examples of alternatives that work similarly to Microsoft Access. They’re like different flavors of your favorite snack – each has its own unique taste but satisfies the same craving. Plus, most of them are fully compatible with Macs.

Final Words

Alright, we’ve reached the end of our adventure in figuring out how to use Microsoft Access on a Mac. It’s a bit like a treasure hunt, isn’t it? Since Microsoft Access and Mac aren’t direct buddies, you’ve got to be a bit creative to keep using this cool database tool on your Apple machine.

I really hope this guide has lit up some lightbulbs for you and given you a bunch of useful methods to tackle this challenge. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way, especially in the tech world!

If you’ve got questions, thoughts, or just want to share your experience, don’t hesitate to reach out. Your feedback is like gold to us. We’re here to help and always excited to hear from fellow tech adventurers. So, go ahead, drop us a line or two!

And hey, thanks for hanging out with us on this journey. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, have fun with all your tech adventures!


Q: Can I use Microsoft Access on a Mac?

A: No, Microsoft Access is not natively compatible with Mac operating systems. However, there are several workarounds to use it on a Mac.

Q: Why doesn’t Microsoft 365 allow me to use Access on a Mac?

A: While Microsoft 365 includes Access in its Business Standard subscription, Access is only designed for PC and not available for Mac within Microsoft 365.

Q: What is a Virtual Machine (VM) and how can it help me use Access on a Mac?

A: A Virtual Machine is a software that allows you to run a Windows operating system within a window on your Mac desktop. This lets you use Windows-only applications like Microsoft Access on your Mac.

Q: Can I install Windows on my MacBook to use Access?

A: Yes, you can use Apple’s Boot Camp to install Windows on your MacBook. This allows you to choose between macOS and Windows at startup, enabling you to use Access on the Windows side.

Q: Are there third-party apps that let me work with Access files on a Mac?

A: Yes, there are apps like “Viewer for Access Database” that allow you to open, view, and sometimes edit MS Access database files on a Mac.

Q: What are some alternatives to Microsoft Access for Mac users?

A: Alternatives include FileMaker Pro, LibreOffice Base, and Google Forms, which offer similar database functionalities and are compatible with Macs.

Q: How does Remote Desktop help in using Access on a Mac?

A: Remote Desktop allows you to connect to a Windows computer from your Mac. You can run Access on the Windows machine and control it remotely from your Mac.

Q: Is there any cost involved in using these methods to run Access on a Mac?

A: Some methods, like using a VM or Boot Camp, may require purchasing a Windows license. Third-party apps and alternatives to Access may also have associated costs, depending on the version you choose.

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