mde 

Opening MDE files

Have a problem opening a .MDE file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what MDE files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .MDE file type?

The primary association of the .mde filename extension belongs to the Microsoft Office Access Protected/Compiled Database (.mde) file type and format used by earlier releases of Microsoft Office Access (MSOA), the databasing component of the commercial Microsoft Office suite.

Before 2007, MSOA used the MDB file format for its JET (Joint Engine Technology) databases, incorporating Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros and modules. To protect an MSOA database from changes and also block access to its VBA source code, it can be saved in the MDE protected format. MSOA 2007 and later use a different protected database format and file type (.accde).



An .mde file is an MSOA JET database file saved with all its VBA modules and macros compiled into the binary form. An .mde database can be opened in MSOA but cannot be changed or fully converted/decompiled into its source. To modify a protected .mde database, all changes must be made to its source .mdb file followed by compilation into .mde.

There are several tools for partial extraction of tables and/or forms from protected .mde databases.


Alternatively, the .mde extension also occurred in association with the deprecated ArchiCAD Education Version Module (MDE) file type and format, once used with reference to a special version of the ArchiCAD software licensed free of charge by GRAPHISOFT to architecture and design students and instructors. In latest ArchiCAD versions, the MDE format is no longer supported.

Software to open or convert MDE files

You can open MDE files with the following programs: 

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