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How To Install the Northwind Sample Database in Microsoft Access


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Note: These instructions are for Microsoft Access 2003. If you are using a newer version of Access, read Installing the Northwind Sample Database in Access 2010. The Northwind database contains some great sample tables, queries, reports and other database features. Here's how to install it.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Start Microsoft Access
  2. From the Help menu, choose Sample Databases and then Northwind Sample Database
  3. If you've already installed Northwind, it will open immediately. If this is the first time you are using Northwind, you will be walked through the installation process in a dialog box called "Installing Components for Microsoft Office Access."
  4. If prompted, insert the Microsoft Office CD(s) requested by the installation process.
  5. If you'd like to install the Northwind sample Access project, you may do so by choosing "Northwind Sample Access Project" from the Help -> Sample Databases menu and walking through steps 3 and 4 again.


  1. If you're having trouble locating the Northwind database, you may download a copy from Microsoft's website.

What You Need

  • Microsoft Access XP
  • Office Installation Media
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