What Is an ACCDE File?

How to open, edit, and convert ACCDE files

A file with the ACCDE file extension is a Microsoft Access Execute Only Database file used to protect an ACCDB file. It replaces the MDE format (which secures an MDB file) used by older versions of MS Access.

The VBA code in an ACCDE file is saved in a way that prevents anyone from seeing or changing it. When you save a Microsoft Access database to the ACCDE format, you can also choose to protect custom database code as well as to encrypt the entire file behind a password.

An ACCDE file also prevents anyone from writing changes to the reports, forms, and modules.


How to Open an ACCDE File

ACCDE files are opened with Microsoft Access and probably some other database programs as well.

Microsoft Excel will import ACCDE files but that data will then have to be saved in some other spreadsheet format. This is done through Excel's File > Open menu—just be sure to choose the Access Databases option so that Excel can find the ACCDE file.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the ACCDE file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open ACCDE files, learn how to make that change in Windows.

Honestly, this is highly unlikely, as there aren't that many programs that open these types of files. Database files aren't as common as audio, video, or document file types.

How to Convert an ACCDE File

Most files (like DOCX, PDF, MP3, etc.) can be converted to another format using a free file converter, but that isn't the case for ACCDE files.

You can't convert an ACCDE file back to its original ACCDB format. The only hope you have for making changes to the read-only parts of an ACCDE file is to have access to the ACCDB file that was used to create it.

However, you may be able to reverse engineer the ACCDE file to get access to the source code using a service like Everything Access.

More Information on ACCDE Files

You can make an ACCDE file in Microsoft Access via its File > Save As > Save Database As > Make ACCDE menu.

Microsoft Access Execute Only Database files are backward compatible only, meaning an ACCDE file created in, say, Access 2013 can't be opened in Access 2010, but one built in 2010 can be opened with newer versions.

Also, remember that an ACCDE file built by a 32-bit version of Access can't be opened by a 64-bit version, and the same is true in reverse—ACCDE files created out of a 64-bit version of MS Access must be opened with another 64-bit version of the program.

Still Can't Open Your File?

If your ACCDE file isn't opening like you think it should, double-check that you're reading the file extension correctly. Some files use an extension that closely resembles .ACCDE even though the formats aren't related.

ACCDB, ACCDT (Microsoft Access Database Template), and ACCDR are some other Access file types and should open in a similar way as ACCDE files, but ACFACV, and AC3 files are completely different.