Installing the Northwind Sample Database in Microsoft Access 2013

Download a sample database for easy learning in Access

Database development

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Microsoft Access 2013 is a database management system that provides the software tools you need to organize data. If you're a novice user, you may have seen mentions of The Northwind sample database, which has long been available to Access users. It contains some great sample tables, queries, reports, and other database features, and it frequently appears in tutorials for Access 2013. If you're learning Access and working your way through online tutorials, you'll no doubt be asked to use the Northwind database. Here's how to install it in Microsoft Access 2013.

Database development
slungu / Getty Images

Installing the Northwind Database

Access database templates used to be downloadable from the web, but they are now available only from within Access itself. To install the sample database:

  1. Open Microsoft Access 2013.

  2. Type "Northwind" in the Search for Online Templates box at the top of the screen and, press Enter.

  3. Select Northwind 2007 Sample in the result screen.

  4. In the File Name text box, provide a filename for your Northwind database.

  5. Press Create. Access will download the Northwind database from Microsoft and prepares your copy. It may take a few minutes.

  6. Your database will open automatically when it is ready.

About the Northwind Database

The Northwind database is based on a fictitious company—Northwind Traders. It incorporates sales transactions between the company and its customers and purchasing details between the company and its vendors. It includes tables for inventory, orders, customers, employees and more. It is the basis for many tutorials and books on using Access.

These instructions also apply to Microsoft Access 2016.