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I have a Windows XP Pro PC with Office 97 installed because there are a number of files that are only compatible with Access 97. I also have Access 2010 installed.

Problem is the access files by default are opened with Access 2010 but I want it to open with Access 97. I have tried to change the properties of the shortcut and changed the "Open With..." program to Access 97 but it won't stick. The Recommended Programs list has both Access 2010 and Access 97 right now however they are both referred to as just Microsoft Access. So when I try and choose the Access 97 exe by browsing to the path, after I click OK, the Access 2010 item is highlighted and the shortcut opens Access 2010.

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not a solution though, open access 97 and open that file using open dialog box? – tumchaaditya Aug 10 '12 at 11:55

Click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Set Program Access and Default

In here, under Microsoft you should be able to change the default.


Now, from memory '97 and 2010 use different file extensions for Access. So, in Windows Explorer, click on Tools -> Folder options. Click on the File Types tab.

Scroll down until you see the file format you want to change, click on it and select change!

Let me know if this helps

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Nope, can't do that. I just ended up creating a shortcut to MSACCESS 97 and adding the path of the file as an argument in the shortcut. – Jack Aug 12 '12 at 1:06
@Jack, I don't know if this "feature" is still active, but Access used to remember the last version used, and open the next database with that. If you needed a specific version, you created a shortcut as you have done,or open Access first, then open the database – SeanC Aug 14 '12 at 16:28
up vote 0 down vote accepted

What I did was make a shortcut to the 97 Access and putting the path of the file in the shortcut target.

So the target of the shortcut is "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\msaccess.exe" C:\Documents and Settings\file.mde

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