Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS

In the more recent 64-bit versions of QGIS it is no longer possible to open ESRI personal geodatabases using the 'Add vector layer' functionality. However, it is possible to enable access to personal geodatabases by doing the following:

  1. Download the 64-bit version on the MS Access ODBC driver (AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe):
  2. If you don’t have 32-bit MS Office installed you can just run the exe, however if you do have 32-bit office installed then you need to start an admin command prompt and run the installer in passive mode as follows:
AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe /passive
  1. For QGIS 2: Then you need to edit the qgis-ltr.bat (normally in C:\Program Files\QGIS x.xx\bin, in previous versions used to be qgis.bat) and add the following lines (before the ‘start’ command)
set PGEO_DRIVER_TEMPLATE=DRIVER=Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb);DBQ=%%s
  1. For QGIS 3: In QGIS Settings panel -> Options | System | Environment add the following two variables:

    variable name: PGEO_DRIVER_TEMPLATE 
    value: DRIVER=Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb);DBQ=%s
    Or if being used on a shared server add a system environment variable 
    PGEO_DRIVER_TEMPLATE=DRIVER=Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb, *.accdb);DBQ=%s

  2. Now you should be able to start QGIS and simply drag the geodatabase mdb file onto the QGIS workspace and it will open.
Note: This solution has been tested using QGIS v2.14.11 (Essen)  & QGIS v3.4.13 (Madeira)
Note: This post is based on information taken from the web page listed below, however that page was based on an older version of QGIS (2.8.1) which used the qgis.bat file rather than qgis-ltr.bat.



re: Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS

06 May 2018

It seems like you are assuming that the user is on Windows. What if the user is on Linux?


re: Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS

15 June 2018

We have many personal geodatabases, but they contain tables and relationships as well, and the solution only allows the geographic content to be displayed. Do you know how to access these information?


re: Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS

21 February 2020

Thank you very much 

it work for QGIS 3 64 Bits 

cengiz eltan

re: Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS

21 July 2020

Any help win32, QGIS 3,14

Opening ESRI Personal Geodatabases in QGIS


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