Question: What is an MDE File?
Did you find an MDE file on your computer and wonder what program should open it? Maybe someone emailed you an MDE file but you're not sure how to use it. Perhaps you tried to open the MDE file but Windows told you that it could not open it.
Before you can open an MDE 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 .MDE file extension refers to.
Answer: A file with the MDE file extension is a Microsoft Access MDE Database file.
Other types of files may also use the MDE file extension. If you know of any additional file formats that use the .MDE extension, please let me know so I can update this information.
How To Open an MDE File:
The easiest way to open an MDE file is to double-click on it and let your PC decide which default application should open the file. If no program opens the MDE file then you probably don't have an application installed that can view and/or edit MDE 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.
MDE files can be opened with Microsoft Access and probably some other database programs as well. Microsoft Excel will import MDE files, but that data will then have to be saved in some other spreadsheet format.
You can always let me know if you're aware of another database or related program that opens MDE files and if so, I'd be happy to add the name of the software here.
If you know anything else useful about MDE files, please let me know so I can update this page.
Tip: Use Notepad or another text editor to open the MDE 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 MDE files but it's worth a try.
If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the MDE file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open MDE 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 MDE File:
There are two main ways to attempt to convert an MDE file to another file type:
- Open the MDE 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 MDE file to another file format.
The first option involving opening the MDE 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 MDE files, a third-party file conversion tool (the second option) could be very useful.
Important: You cannot usually change a file extension (like the MDE 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 MDE 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 MDE file and I'll see what I can do to help.