Advantages & Disadvantages of Microsoft Access

Updated July 19, 2017

Microsoft Access is a database system meant for individuals and small businesses. It may be just what you're looking for, or it may not be quite as robust a program as you need. Microsoft allows a sample download, so you can test it before you buy it, or you can even try it out online. As of 2009, the most recent version is Access 2007.


Microsoft Access 2003 costs between £65 and £130, as opposed to larger systems that may cost thousands of dollars.

Ease of Use

Like many other Microsoft application, Access contains Wizards that walk you through each step of the way. You do not need to have database experience in order to use it.

Multi-User Functionality

Microsoft Access is not meant to have multiple users at any given time. While it can support them, problems with functionality can pop up.

Single-File Save

All the information from your database is saved into one file - this can limit what you can do with it and slow down reports, queries, and forms.


Access is a simple database, not a full-fledged database management system.


Each database can store no more than 2 GB of data, although you may build as many unrelated databases as you'd like.


Since Microsoft Access cannot handle large data requests, if you are using close to the maximum amount of data, it will run slowly.

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About the Author

Katherine Sanger has been writing articles for 15 years for various online and print publications. She holds degrees in information technology, liberal arts, English literature, creative writing and higher education and taught college-level English for more than 10 years.