Unable to use the Access ODBC, OLEDB or DAO interfaces outside Office Click-to-Run applications


When you try to create an ODBC DSN for drivers that are provided by Microsoft Access in the Data Sources ODBC Administrator, the attempt fails. This problem occurs if you're using a Click-to-Run (C2R) installation of Office that doesn't expose the Access Database Engine outside of the Office virtualization bubble. Depending on the version of Office, you may encounter any of the following issues when you try this operation:

  • The ODBC drivers provided by ACEODBC.DLL are not listed in the Select a driver dialog box.

  • You receive a "The operating system is not presently configured to run this application" error message.

  • You receive an "Unable to load odbcji32.dll" error message.

  • You receive a "The driver of this User DSN does not exist. It can only be removed" error message together with the platform showing N/A.

    Screenshot of the ODBC Data Sources Administrator, which shows the error message together with the platform.

Affected drivers:

  • Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb)
  • Microsoft Access Text Driver (*.txt, *.csv)
  • Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls, *.xlsx, *.xlsm, *.xlsb)

Additionally, if you try to define an OLEDB connection from an external application (one that's running outside of Office) by using the Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0 or Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.16.0 OLEDB provider, you encounter a "Provider cannot be found" error when you try to connect to the provider.


Click-to-Run installations of Office run in an isolated virtual environment on the local operating system. Some applications outside Office may not be aware of where to look for the installation in the isolated environment.


Beginning with Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise Version 2009, work has been completed to break ACE out of the C2R virtualization bubble so that applications outside of Office are able to locate the ODBC, OLEDB and DAO interfaces provided by the Access Database Engine within the C2R installation.

Use the following table to understand if additional components are necessary to access these interfaces within your environment:

Current Office Installation Additional components needed Recommended Additional Installation
Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, Office 2016/2019/2021 Consumer Version 2009 or later No -
Office LTSC 2021 (Volume License) No -
Office 2016/2019 Pro Plus C2R (Volume License) Yes Upgrade to Office LTSC 2021 (Volume License) or install Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime
Office 2010/2013/2016 MSI No -
No Office installation Yes Microsoft 365 Access Runtime


  • The Microsoft Access Database Engine 2016 Redistributable is not provided as a recommended installation because both the Access Database Engine 2016 and Microsoft 365 Apps use the same major version identifier (16.0) which may introduce unexpected behaviors. Office side-by-side detection will also prevent the installation from proceeding if this scenario is detected.

More information about creating ODBC connections

All Click-to-Run instances of Office are unable to create Machine/System datasource names from within an Office application or from the Data Sources ODBC Administrator.