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How to Easily Convert Your MS Access Data to MySQL

Microsoft Access is a relational system for managing databases that is used to create small-scale databases for a single user or small teams. MySQL is a robust open-source relational database management system for more extensive data volumes and web applications.

With the help of dbForge Studio for MySQL, you can easily migrate data from Microsoft Access to MySQL and preserve data and functional integrity. This process will allow you to utilize a more scalable and powerful MySQL infrastructure for convenient management of your database contents.


Why migrate from Microsoft Access to a MySQL database?

Migrating from Microsoft Access to MySQL can be useful for several reasons. Let’s review each of them. 

  • Scalability: MySQL provides better scalability for big data and more complicated projects in comparison with Microsoft Access. 
  • Performance: MySQL can deliver greater speed and productivity for database operations, especially under conditions involving a large volume of concurrent queries.
  • Reliability and security: MySQL has advanced functionality to guarantee data protection and consistency, including backup and replication, to ensure uninterrupted operation.  
  • Support for web applications: MySQL is more commonly used in web development, facilitating integration with web servers and the development of web-oriented applications.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: MySQL is available across multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS), offering more flexibility in deployment options compared to the Windows-centric Microsoft Access.


Before proceeding with the steps outlined in this article, make sure you have the following tools and components ready:

How to import data from Microsoft Access into a MySQL database

Importing a database from Microsoft Access into MySQL involves a series of steps to seamlessly transfer data. This process is essential for migrating from Access limited capacity to MySQL robust database management system. This guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough detailing the necessary steps and considerations to successfully execute the migration process and harness the advanced functionalities offered by MySQL.

Import Microsoft Access data

We’re going to show you how to import the film_actor table exported from Microsoft Access to the sakila database in dbForge Studio for MySQL with the help of Data Import Wizard.

1. In Database Explorer, right-click the required database and navigate to Tasks > Import Data.

2. Select MS Access and click three dots to specify the path to the file you want to import.

Note that you can save the import settings as a template for future uses. For this, click Save Template on any Wizard page.

3. Select the file and click Next.

If the file is protected with a password, the Open MS Access Database dialog appears where you should enter the password.

4. If you want data to be imported to a new table, select New table and provide a name for it. To import data to an existing table, select Existing table and choose the desired one. After that, click Next.

5. Configure data formats for the source data and click Next.

6. Map the Source columns to the Target ones. If you are importing the data into a new table, dbForge Studio will automatically create and map all the columns. If you are importing into an existing table, only columns with the same names will be mapped, the rest should be mapped manually. (If no columns with the same name are found, they are mapped in succession – the 1st column in Source with the 1st column in Target, etc.).

See the Target columns at the top and the Source columns at the bottom of the wizard page. Click Source column fields and select the required columns from the drop-down list.

To cancel mapping of all the columns, click Clear Mappings on the toolbar. To restore it, click Fill Mapping.

If you are importing to a new table, you can edit the Target column properties by double-clicking them in the top grid. Select the Key check box for a column with a primary Key and click Next.

You should select at least one column with a primary key. Otherwise, some of the import modes on the Modes wizard page will be disabled.

7. Select an import mode to define how dbForge Studio should import the data. Click Next.

8. Select an output option and click Next:

  • Open the data import script in the internal editor: The script will get opened in dbForge Studio for MySQL after the import process.
  • Save the data import script to a file: The script will be saved to the specified file.
  • Import data directly to the database: Data will be added to the selected database.

9. Select how dbForge Studio should handle errors during import and whether you want to get a log file with details about the import session.

10. Click Import.

11. After the import process is completed, click Finish.

The imported table will be visible in the database.

Configure constraints

After importing all necessary tables, you can set up or correct relations between the converted tables by creating/editing foreign keys if required.

Create or edit a foreign key

1. Right-click the necessary table and select Open Editor.

2. Click Constraints.

3. To create a new foreign key, right-click and select Add Foreign Key.

Type your name for the key and choose the desired constraint column.

Choose the required referenced table and its column, and then click Apply Changes.

To modify a foreign key, click it, add the required changes, and click Apply Changes.

Create or edit a primary key

To create a new primary key, on the Constraints tab, right-click and select Add Primary Key.

Choose the required column and click Apply Changes.

To modify the primary key, just click it, add or delete a column, and click Apply Changes.


Overall, dbForge Studio for MySQL stands as a comprehensive and reliable solution for migrating data from Microsoft Access to MySQL. The tool ensures data integrity during migration, minimizing the risk of data loss or corruption throughout the import process. Also, dbForge Studio efficiently handles large volumes of data, enabling the seamless transfer of substantial information from Access to MySQL databases. Download dbForge Studio for MySQL and unlock the power of efficient database management and seamless migration!

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Anna Lee
Anna Lee
dbForge Team