Can't use the Access ODBC driver or OLEDB provider outside Office Click-to-Run applications


Office 365 ProPlus is being renamed to Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise. For more information about this change, read this blog post.


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. 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.

    Error with ODBC

Affected drivers:

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

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 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. 

Overview of Click-to-Run for Office 365 setup architecture


ODBC connections to be used in Office applications

You can work around the issue by creating a DSN from within an Office application, such as Access, instead of using the ODBC Administrator. To create a new DSN in Access, follow these steps: 

  1. On the ribbon, select External Data > ODBC Database.
  2. Select Import or Link, and then click OK.
  3. Select the tab for the kind of DSN that you want to create (File Data Source or Machine Data Source), and then click New.
  4. Select the appropriate driver along with any required information to complete the entry.
  5. After the DSN is created, click Cancel to exit the remaining Import/Link steps.
  6. The DSN should now appear in the ODBC Administrator, and you can use it in any Office application.

ODBC or Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0 OLEDB provider connections that will be used outside of Office

You must install an MSI installation of the Microsoft Access Database Engine from one of the following sources so that the calling application can locate the driver and provider.

Microsoft Access Database Engine 2016 Redistributable

Note If Office 365 is already installed, side-by-side detection will prevent the installation from proceeding. To install the package, perform a quiet installation by running a command such as the following:

<File location>:\<File name> /quiet

For example: C:\AccessDatabaseEngine.exe /quiet

Microsoft Access 2013 Runtime

Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable