Question: What is an MDB File?
Did you find an MDB file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an MDB file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the MDB file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an MDB file (assuming it's even a file format that's intended to be viewed or edited), you'll need to determine what kind of file the .MDB file extension refers to.
Answer: A file with the MDB file extension is a Microsoft Access Database file.
Other types of files may also use the MDB file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .MDB extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an MDB File
The easiest way to open an MDB file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the MDB file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit MDB files.
Warning: Take great care when opening executable file formats received via email or downloaded from websites you're not familiar with. See my List of Executable File Extensions for a listing of file extensions to avoid and why.
MDB files can be opened with Microsoft Access and probably some other database programs as well. Microsoft Excel will import MDB files, but that data will then have to be saved in some other spreadsheet format.
MDB Viewer Plus is a free program that can open and edit MDB files. You do not need to have Microsoft Access installed to use this program.
If you know anything else useful about MDB files, like other programs that open the file type, please let me know so I can update this page.
Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the MDB file. Many files are text-only files meaning no matter the file extension, a text editor may be able to properly display the file's contents. This may or may not be the case with MDB files but it's worth a try.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the MDB file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open MDB files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.
How To Convert an MDB File
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an MDB file to another file type:
- Open the MDB file in its default program and choose to save the open file as another file format.
- Use a File Conversion Online Service or Software Program to convert the MDB file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the MDB file in its native program is preferable because it's both easier and will probably result in a more accurate file conversion. Of course if you don't have a program that opens MDB files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the MDB file extension) to one that your computer recognizes and expect the newly renamed file to be usable. An actual file format conversion using one of the methods described above must take place in most cases.
Still Having Problems Opening or Using an MDB File?
See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the MDB file and I'll see what I can do to help.