What Is an ACCDR File?

This is a Microsoft Access database file that simulates runtime mode when it opens

What to Know

  • An ACCDR file is a Microsoft Access runtime application file.
  • Open one with Access or Access Runtime (free).
  • "Convert" one to ACCDB by renaming the file extension.

This article explains what ACCDR files are and how they're related to ACCDB files, as well as how to open one and why renaming the file extension is the best way to convert one.

What Is an ACCDR File?

A file with the ACCDR file extension is a Microsoft Access runtime application file. It's a read-only, locked-down version of an ACCDB file that results in the database opening in runtime mode.

In runtime mode, certain Access features aren't available by default. For example, the navigation pane isn't available, nor is the Ribbon, Design view and Layout view, integrated Help, or special keys.

If an ACCDR file is renamed to have the .ACCDB extension, it restores full write functions so you can make changes to it. If the opposite is done, it effectively locks down an ACCDB database file so that it's no longer editable.

Screenshot of several ACCDR files in Windows 10

ACCDR files are superior over ACCDB files in that, while they're still able to open and be read, they can't accidentally be manipulated. However, they don't provide the same protection as ACCDE files.

How to Open an ACCDR File

ACCDR files are opened using Microsoft Access.

If you, or someone you're sending the file to, doesn't have Access installed, the file can still be opened with the free Microsoft Access Runtime. This isn't a free version of Access in its entirety, but it is an option you have for viewing ACCDR files without needing to have Access installed.

If you're not sure which file to choose on the download page, learn how to tell if you have Windows 64-bit or 32-bit. The 32-bit and 64-bit versions are called AccessRuntime_x86_en-us.exe and AccessRuntime_x64_en-us.exe, respectively.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the file but it's the wrong application or you'd rather have another installed program open it, learn how to change the default program for a specific file extension to see how to make that change in Windows.

How to Convert an ACCDR File

The easiest way to convert an ACCDR file to ACCDB is to just rename the extension to .ACCDB.

Renaming a file like this isn't possible in Windows until you make a small change to the way the files are displayed in its folder. Showing a file's extension can be done by searching for the Folder Options applet in the Control Panel. Once there, from the View tab, uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. This will let you see the file's extension after its name so that you can rename it to .ACCDB.

Screenshot of the File Explorer options in Windows 10

Because the two are the same format, after renaming it as such, you can use any file converter that supports the ACCDB format to convert it to something else. MS Access is your best option.

You can't normally just rename a file to the format you want it to be in and expect that new file to work properly. For example, renaming an MP4 file to say .MP3 doesn't suddenly turn the video file into an audio file. However, given what an ACCDR file actually is (just a renamed file), you can simply rename it and have it function the exact same way an ACCDB file would.

Still Can't Open It?

As much as some file extensions resemble each other, it doesn't always mean they're related. If you mix them up, you'll end up trying to use an incompatible program to open your file, which will probably result in errors.

For example, ACCDR files, although similar in spelling, have nothing to do with CDR files. If you try opening one in Access, you'll quickly find that it doesn't work.

Many other files share some of the same letters as those two (like AAC and DCR), so if you can't get your file to open with the programs mentioned above, take a second look at the file extension. It's most likely different from what's talked about here, meaning you'll need to start your research again in order to find the program that's best suited to open, edit, or convert it.

Was this page helpful?