While Microsoft has retired Access, the program is still supported, and you can download an official runtime program that will allow you to enter, delete, and modify Access databases for free.
How to Download Microsoft Access (Runtime)
- Click on the Download button in the sidebar, and a new tab will open to the Microsoft Access download page.
- Choose the language you desire, and then the Access download button will appear.
- Choose to download either the 32-bit or 64-bit version. If you’re not sure which version you need, type About Your PC in the Windows search bar, and the system settings will open. Under the Device Specifications, you’ll see the System Type, which will either be 64bit or 32-bit. If you have a 64-bit system, you can download either file, but if you have a 32-bit — only the 32-bit download will work.
- Once the download is complete, click on the file, and Access will install on your computer.
How to Uninstall Microsoft Access
If you see that Microsoft Access can’t manage your databases the way you need, check out the free Access alternatives below. You can easily remove Access from your computer by following these simple steps.
- Type Add or Remove Programs from the Windows search bar.
- Scroll through the list of installed programs until you find Microsoft Access Runtime and click Uninstall.
- You will need to confirm that you want to remove the software, and the Office uninstallation wizard will remove Access.
Microsoft Access Overview
For many years, the best database management system on the market was Microsoft Access. It combined a graphical user-interface with software development tools, and until recently, it was part of the Office 365 suite of apps.
It made it easy to input, collaborate, track, and report data. Access was popular across most businesses from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations. It also had applications for home users who want to create extensive databases and programmers and developers who are curating databases for software and apps.
What is the Access Runtime?
Before Microsoft removed Access from Office 365, the only people who use Access Runtime were developers. Now that it’s the only remaining option, let’s see if it’s the right app for you.
With Access Runtime, you can still open, modify, and distribute Access applications and databases, but the features are severely limited. In theory, it’s similar to a PDF reader; you can open the file, make some small adjustments, but can’t create new databases. The Runtime application was initially created for team members to update data or modify the databases by interacting with the forms and applications.
Free Alternatives to Microsoft Access
If you need a fully functioning database creation program, check out these alternatives.
- Open Office Base: Often referred to as an “Office 365 killer,” Apache’s Open Office has a database program called Base that functions very similar to Access. It can be used to create everything from simple databases to complex formula based databases that can be used for programming. The program has easy to follow tutorials to help inexperienced users create Tables, Queries, Forms, and Reports, as well as a list of formulas that can be for tracking Assets, Customers, Sales orders, Invoices, and much more.
- WorkMap.ai: With many of the same tools as Access, WorkMap.ai can handle all your database needs. Not only that, but it also offers cloud access. Other features include drag and drop forms, data mining tools for reports and queries, calculations, workflow automation, and more.
- Excel: While its main function is creating spreadsheets, you can use Excel for creating some databases as well. This is not an ideal program if you’re looking for high-level programming databases, but if you want to track customers, invoices, sales, or a database of which books you have, Excel is an excellent option.
🤑 Is Microsoft Access free?
Before it was discontinued, Microsoft had a free 30 day trial for Access. If you still have Access databases that you’re working with, follow the steps above and download the 100% free Access Runtime software.
🤓What does the Microsoft Access Runtime version allow the user to do?
Access Runtime is a way to continue using Access even though the full program is no longer available. Users can open Access databases, fill in data, use forms, generate reports, and use any autokeys that were already established.Visit Microsoft Access Website