MS Access Databases on Mac and/or iPad

Hello everyone,

I am part of a research project in which we heavily rely on MS Access. Unfortunately, Microsoft does not offer Access for MacOS or iOS, so I have no possibility to work on this project when being in my home office. Is there any replacement on MacOS and/or iOS to manipulate Access databases?

Thank you!


There is a Mac App called MDB ACCDB Viewer, which can be useful to export Access files to CSV, etc. Not a perfect solution, but may help you at least view and export data, and the app itself is not terribly expensive.



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Or use a Virtual Machine on MacOS and install Access on the VM


Hi. The absence of an easy way of working with Access on a Mac was a critical problem for me when transitioning from the world of PC to Mac.
I have tried several workarounds but gave up.

It is sometimes a great release in life to be able to say:

  • I cannot do that!

But that doesn’t help you much. Sorry.

FileMaker Pro was an expensive and equally huge database solution. That is where I am now.

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Thank you for your ideas! I think a VM is the way to go for me. Still very annoying that there is no real solution. I don’t think that there is too small of a target group.

Same for Publisher and Visio too, but at least there are more compatible products for those on MacOS

Are you using Access just for storing the data, or is it also the user interface, application logic, and reporting?

How comfortable are you with writing SQL code (real SQL, not the weird dialect Access uses)?

I agree, I think a VM is probably your best solution. Virtual Box is a free VM solution. I have to admit Parallels with Coherence mode is a nice solution. I do a lot of work in Windows so I have Parallels and still run Quicken for Windows in coherence mode on my iMac.


The situation is a little complex :sweat_smile:. I work for a joint research program with several locations. When using Windows in my office I use a VPN to connect to their server and then use Access to store data in the remote database. But my local copy of the Access file only serves as an interface for the remote database.

So I guess a feasible solution could be to use a VM, connect to their network and use Access within the VM.


Definitely, install a VM with Windows and run Access. No need to mess around. Focus on your research and not the IT.


I currently run Win10 in VirtualBox mainly because I already owned a couple of MS licenses.

Another solution I’ve used in the past, is to buy a Windows PC and connect via Microsoft Remote Desktop. Windows 10 Home costs $ $90 - $100, VMWare or Parallels is about $80. MS Remote Desktop is free.

I’ve purchased new Dell laptops for as little as $230. If you’re connecting via MRD the quality of the screen, etc. isn’t a factor. And you never have problems with your VM when you get a macOS update.


Haha, always a good advice. :smile:

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That is actually not a bad option at all. Maybe not for this project but in general. I’ll keep it in the back of my mind, thank you! :blush:

I thought that in later versions of Access there was an option to publish a web front end. Would that work?

I have successfully used CrossOver to just run MS Access on my Mac. I’m not a heavy user, but use it occasionally to open an old Access database for reference.

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