Is There Microsoft Access for Mac?

No, Microsoft does not provide a Mac version of MS Access. While it is a very nice database tool that can be used for many different applications, it is not compatible with Mac operating systems.

With that being said, there are ways that you can use it from your Mac.

My name is Eric and as a software engineer with 20+ years of experience, I have worked with a multitude of software applications. I enjoy solving problems and trying to find ways to make things work. When I do find solutions I like to pass them on to others whenever I can.

Although there is no longer a specific Microsoft Access version developed for Mac operating systems, there are a few ways that you can use it on your Mac computer. If you would like to know more, keep reading and we will talk about some of the possibilities.

Why Can’t I Use Access Through Microsoft 365?

If you have ever used Microsoft 365, which lets you use Microsoft Office products in the cloud (or on the internet), you might be thinking that this is a possible solution. Microsoft Access is still available with a Microsoft 365 Business Standard or above subscription.

While the majority of the Office 365 apps, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are available for Mac operating systems, Access is not one of them. It specifically states that it is available for PC only.

Office apps included in MS 365 Business Standard

So, using 365 directly from your Mac desktop will not be an option, but no worries. We have a number of other solutions that will work and we will discuss those next.

Using Microsoft Access on Your Mac

Microsoft Access has now been developed to only run on a Windows operating system. Therefore, it is no longer possible to run it on a Mac OS. 

If you do have a requirement of being able to use Access from your Mac, there are still some good solutions that you can use to do this. Let’s take a look.

1. Virtual Machine

Using a virtual machine is a great solution and in my opinion the best option for this type of situation. Also, known as a VM, it is a tool or application that enables you to run another operating system within a window on your desktop.

You’re basically running another computer within your computer. This allows you to run a Windows operating system on your Mac desktop. In the virtual Windows operating system, you can install or run any of the usual apps that you would on a real Windows computer.

This includes installing or running Microsoft access. You can install Microsoft Office, use Microsoft 365 Business Standard, or install a stand-alone version of Access.

Virtual Machine software is readily available for Mac operating systems. There are free versions, trial versions, paid versions, and even cloud versions for which you can pay a monthly subscription to use.

If you would like to find out more about virtual machines and how they work, take a look at this article called What is a Virtual Machine.

2. Remote Desktop

If you have a Windows computer available on your network or a network that you can connect to, then using a remote desktop connection can be an easy solution. Install Access on the Windows computer, connect to it with Remote Desktop, and then you can use it.

You could also connect to the Windows machine with Remote Desktop and use the browser to connect to a Microsoft 365 account that has Access. Either way, using Remote Desktop will let you connect to a Windows environment from your Mac and then run Access.

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a free app that you can download from the App Store and then connect to Windows machines on your network. Take a look at the video below to see how to use the app.

3. Install Windows on Your Macbook

Another option to look at is to install Windows on your Macbook. Did you know that it is possible to do this? You can install a Windows operating system on your Macbook along with the Mac operating system. 

By using a tool such as Apple’s Boot Camp you can have a machine with dual boot capability. This means that when you start up your computer, you can select which operating system will boot or startup. 

When you need to use Microsoft Access, you simply boot your computer with the Windows operating system and use an installed version of Access or an Office 365 version. Take a look here for more information on Boot Camp and how to use it.

4. Use a Third-Party App

There are other applications out there that give you the ability to work with MS Access database files. Most of them only allow you to open, read and display the files but there are some that will help you manipulate the data and make changes to the database.

Viewer for Access Databas‪e is one such app available in the App Store. The free version lets you view the data and display it in a variety of ways. The paid version will provide the capability to edit data and even create new Access databases.

5. Use an Alternative

One last option is to just stop using Access altogether. It was a great application and one of the best in its class for some time, but now there are many other options to choose from when it comes to this type of database software.

FileMaker Pro, LibreOffice Base, and Google Forms are just a few database applications that perform similar to Microsoft Access. There are many others out there to choose from and most of them are available for Mac platforms.

Final Words

Since Microsoft Access no longer supports Mac operating systems you may be looking for a way to continue using it on your Mac. We hope that this article has given you some good options to solve this problem.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you.

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