I am a small business owner and I have been working and developing a property management system in Access 2017. It works great and I've invested years and sweat & tears over this system. I run Insightly, FileMaker Pro, JotForms and other Mac based business software platforms on my Mac with iOS Sierra. FileMaker Pro is the biggest pain when it comes to external connectivity where I have to use ODBC drivers that are propriety to the FMpro people and not generic like in normal Windows ODBC connections. Besides, nothing beats Access for ease of use, form design, database application design, etc without the need to learn ASP.net, SQL Server, programming, etc.

After reading this and this, I am thinking the answer to this question is simply, "No! There is no best way to run Access".

The ONLY way I've managed to run Access was to use Windows Remote Desktop, and actually run Access 2017 on a separate Windows machine. I've tried some " "Windows" emulator programs on the Mac, and frankly they just don't have the smarts for running Access 2017 in Windows, with the ability to run Macros, or VBA, which are designed into my ACCDB database file.

I hate to have to use RDT software to remote into a separate machine whether it’s on my local network or cloud based / remote.

Given that I already know I can remote out and have dismissed these options, How can I run MS Access on my local Mac with no network connection elsewhere?

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    Welcome to Ask Different! :) You may need to edit your question to clarify what you mean by I've tried some "Windows" emulator programs on the Mac, and frankly they just don't have the smarts for running Access 2017 in Windows, with the ability to run Macros, or VBA. It's not clear what you many by this as many users have no problems using MS Access in a VM on a Mac, although it's impossible to compare with whatever it is you've developed. Another important factor to edit into your question is the model of Mac you use and its specs, as well as the emulator programs you've tried.
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 3:10
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    Interestingly it was almost exactly 25 years ago that Access 1.0 was released, Nov. 13, 1992 according to Wikipedia. They have had a while to think about creating a Mac version.... Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 15:02

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately you have found the conundrum Microsoft has placed before you. There is no way to run Access natively on a Macintosh. You can try Parallels or Bootcamp to run Windows on the Mac, and then within Windows, Office Access, but that seems a little like a Frankenstein solution.

I know this sounds heretical from the completely Mac-centric IconDaemon, but sometimes Microsoft wins and you have to bite the bullet and run a PC.

Have you considered purchasing access (pun intended) to a co-located Windows server? This company offers such a service. (No financial or other ties to Colocation America - I just Googled and this was the first company to pop up.)

  • I agree with IconDaemon. You CAN run Access in a VM (VirtualBox, VMWare, etc) or an emulator (Wine, CrossoverMac) which has the benefits of not paying for a windows license. But really it would be just easier to buy a cheap Windows (used, maybe) PC and run Access there. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 14:30
  • @SteveChambers which is what I did to get by. I'll re-edit my question as to specifically why I cannot use Bootcamp to run Access, as it does not run well when designing forms and crashes when I am trying to run VBA code too.
    – Fandango68
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 6:53

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