What is an MDE File?

How to Open, Edit, & Convert MDE Files

Picture of the MDE file icon

A file with the MDE file extension is a Compiled Access Add-in file used to store a Microsoft Access MDA file in binary format.

Advantages of MDE files include a compacted file size, VBA code that can run but can't be changed, and the ability to edit data and run reports while shielding the user from having full database access.

MDE files are also used as add-in files with the architectural design software ArchiCAD to extend the program's functionality.

How To Open an MDE File

MDE files can be opened with Microsoft Access and probably some other database programs as well.

Tip: You can make an MDE file in Access through the Tools >> Database Utilities >> Make MDE File... menu option.

Microsoft Excel will import MDE files, but that data will then have to be saved in some other spreadsheet format.

Graphisoft ArchiCAD's add-in files that have the .MDE file extension can be opened with that program.

Note: Still can't open your file? You might be confusing an Amiga MED Sound file (opens with ModPlug Player) or RSView Development Project file (use RSView to open one) with an MDE file since they both use the .MED file extension, which shares the same three letters as an MDE file.

If you find that an application on your PC does try to open the MDE file but it's the wrong application or if you would rather have another installed program open MDE files, see my How To Change the Default Program for a Specific File Extension guide for making that change in Windows.

How To Convert an MDE File

Read the instructions on Granite Consulting and Pruittfamily.com for some information on converting an MDE file to MDB.

Once the information in the MDE file is in the MDB format, you can convert the MDB file to ACCDB or ACCDE using Microsoft Access.

A tool like MDE Compiler should be able to convert your MDE file to EXE.

More Help With MDE Files

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Let me know what kinds of problems you're having with opening or using the MDE file and I'll see what I can do to help.