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Convert MDB to CSV File Format For Free in 4 Ways

mdb to csv
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Published By Aswin Vijayan
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Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 30th, 2023
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading
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Highlights: If you are the best and most free way to convert MDB to CSV format, you are at the right place. In this article, we will cover different approaches to convert MDB file to CSV file format. Moreover, our special focus will be on the easily accessible and free method through the Microsoft Access application, the in-built VBA code of MS Access, and more. At the end, we will discuss a bonus tip.

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We hope that from this user query, you have got a clear overview of the main context. So, with this information, let’s delve in.

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Terms Outline Before Migrating MDB File to CSV Format

Before getting into the free approaches to convert MDB to CSV file format, let’s under the basic terminologies for each. 

MDB: MDB is one of the Microsoft Access Database file formats. It mainly works as a relational database management system (RDBMS). It focuses on storing data, forms, queries, reports, and other database objects. Moreover, MS Access is a part of the Microsoft Office suite with a user-friendly interface. In a similar fashion, this intuitive UI can be helpful for designing and managing databases irrespective of your background. In fact, before the MS Access 2007 version, MDB was the default file format for Access Databases. 

CSV: Commonly its expanded form is Comma-Separated Values. It is a well-known and widely accepted file format for storing and sharing tabular data in plain text format. Here, each row represents a set of values and is separated by commas and other delimiters such as semicolons or tabs. Further, it is popular for the data exchange between two different software applications. Also, you can easily manipulate the data using spreadsheet software or text editors. 

Besides this, if you want to have an in-depth comparison analysis between .mdb and .csv file formats. Then, follow the table given below.

mdb vs csv

Free Solution #1: Convert MDB to CSV Using the Microsoft Access Software

This part of the blog will precisely focus on how to convert MDB file to CSV file format using the MS Access program. Follow the steps to accomplish the task:

  • Launch the MS Access application. Then, open the MDB file
  • Next, select the table or query or report, or any other database objects you want to export.
  • Pick the filters or sorting options to refine your selection.
  • After that, navigate to the “External Data” section in the top ribbon of your screen.

go to external data

  • Henceforth, a dialog box will appear. Browse to the location where you want to store the .csv file. 
  • At last, click on “OK”. Then, press the “Finish” button.

Free Solution #2: Convert Access to CSV Through the Use of MS Excel

The following example will guide you on how to convert MDB to CSV file format or how to import the Microsoft Access database to Excel. Follow the steps carefully to avoid any data loss or errors. In particular, when you import data to Excel, it makes a permanent connection that can be refreshed later. 

  • Open the Microsoft Excel application on your system.
  • Click on the “Get Data” tab in the Get & Transform Data group. 

click on get-data

  • Next, navigate to From Database to From Microsoft Access Database. Options may vary depending on your Excel version. 

choose from microsoft access database

  • Choose your Access (.mdb/.accdb) file and hit on the “Import” button. 

select the mdb file

  • After that, choose the table or query from the Navigator window on the left side. Then, tap on “Load” to import the data into Excel.

choose the table

  • Once you get the data in Excel, go to “File” → “Save As.”
  • Choose the CSV format as the file type and save the file.

save as csv

Free Solution #3: Convert MDB File to CSV via VBA Code

Certainly! Here is the VBA code given below that you can use in MS Access to convert MDB to CSV file. 

Sub ExportTableToCSV()

    ‘ Set the table name

    Dim tableName As String

    tableName = “YourTableName” 

      ‘ Set the CSV file path

    Dim csvFilePath As String

    csvFilePath = “C:\Path\To\Your\File.csv” 

        ‘ Export the table to CSV

    DoCmd.TransferText acExportDelim, “” , tableName, csvFilePath, True

    ‘ Display a message

    MsgBox “Table exported to CSV successfully!”, vbInformation

End Sub

Note: Don’t forget to replace the file name “YourTableName” and “C:\Path\To\Your\File.csv” with the actual file name and desired path for the CSV file respectively.

To run this code on the machine follow the steps:

  • First, launch the Microsoft Access database.
  • Press Alt + F11 on the keyboard to open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor.
  • Next, right-click on a module in Project Explorer to insert a new module. Then, go to Insert Module.
  • After that, copy the code from above and paste it into the module.
  • Close the VBA editor.
  • To run this code, Press Alt + F8. At last, choose the “ExportTableToCSV” option and click “Run.”

Free Solution #4: Employ OpenOffice Base to Migrate Data from MDB file to CSV

By using this approach you can easily convert MDB to CSV file format without any difficulty. Thus, utilize this free way to import the database from MDB file to CSV. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Run the OpenOffice Base on your system.

openoffice base

  • Go to “Connect to an existing database” → “MDB” as your database file type.
  • Then, Locate your .mdb/.accdb file. Click on the “Next” button.
  • Next, connect the Database of your MDB file by providing the required credentials.
  • Once you create a successful connection, navigate to the “Queries” section in OpenOffice Base. Here, you may create a new query or open an existing one.
  • After that, run the query to display the data. 
  • Henceforth, right-click on the imported results and select “Copy.”
  • Open the OpenOffice Calc and paste the copied content here. 
  • In this program, go to “File” → “Save As.”
  • From the available file types choose the CSV format and Hit on the “Save” button.

Keep in mind that these steps could vary on different versions of the OpenOffice base you are using. However, the overall process remains the same. For the same purpose, remember to review the exported data after the conversion. 

Limitations in the Free Method to Convert MDB to CSV Format

Here are some of the cons of the free approach to export MDB file to CSV:

  • Compatibility Issues
  • Limited Features
  • Challenge to Data Integrity
  • Basic User Interface
  • Lacks Automation and Batch Processing
  • File Size Limitations
  • Lack of Support and Updates
  • Limited Output Options
  • Security Concerns

So, here the security concerns are the critical consideration during the conversion through any free import or export tool. As a result, we suggest you go through the bonus tip below.

Bonus Solution #5: Quick Method to Convert MDB File to CSV format

Unlike the above methods to convert MDB to CSV file format where there is a serious concern of data loss and proclivity to errors. In such a case, relying on a trustworthy and swift solution is the need of the hour. Thankfully, we have the MDB database to CSV converter. Within a few clicks, you can transfer the database to a new entity. Hence, instantly importing your data to a CSV file from MDB, can be the safest option to go with. 

Download Now Purchase Now

Distinct Features of this Utility:

  • Converts .mdb/.accdb formats to recovered .accdb/.mdb, .xls, .csv, and Live SQL Server.
  • Also, it secures and preserves the content of corrupted MDB files without any data loss.
  • Capable of reclaiming the deleted database tables, queries, reports, and any other database objects in the Access files. 
  • Provides the option to transfer the data using only schema or both schema and data options.
  • Adaptable to run on any version of Windows operating system.

Viable Steps to Convert MDB to CSV File

Step 1. Install the top Access converter tool on your computer.

landing screen

Step 2. Click on the “Browse” button to locate the .accdb/.mdb file in your storage.

hit on the Browse button

Step 3. Tap on the Recover tab to restore the deleted database data.

press on the recover button

Step 4. After that, hit on the Export button. Then, choose the CSV File option from the drop-down Select Export Option.

export

choose csv file

Step 5. At the end, press on the Export/Save tab with the Schema & Data radio button checked.

hit on Export/Save button

Final Takeaway

In this write-up, we have gained knowledge regarding various modes to convert MDB to CSV files. The several free approaches are MS Access, MS Excel, VBA Code, and OpenOffice Base usage. Undoubtedly, all the above methods are good in their respective fields but may not be the perfect solution. So, considering the successive shortcomings of the manual ways, we can check out the standalone solution.