How to use Microsoft Access on a Chromebook

I’ve been using ChromeOS since it was originally launched in 2011. I absolutely love Chromebooks because they are fast, secure and easy to use. What I also like is that ChromeOS continues to get better thanks to the regular updates received.

Even one of the questions I’ve heard so many times before (can you use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook?) has been resolved. You’ve been able to use MS Office for some time, but it has only just got to a standard where it’s actually worth using. In fact, MS Office now works great on ChromeOS thanks to Microsoft 365.

You can use Microsoft 365 using a free subscription, but if you’re prepared to pay for a subscription you get a whole lot more. One of these benefits is having the ability to use the full office programs that can be downloaded onto your MAC or Windows PC. The office apps work well in a browser and offer even better functionality when you install apps as a PWA on your Chromebook, so not everyone will necessarily need to use the full programs.

Full Microsoft Office Programs

As I’ve already mentioned the benefit of a paid subscription to Microsoft 365 is the ability to download their full office programs. Of course, these programs cannot be installed directly from ChromeOS. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a workaround, which works just fine.

The idea of Microsoft 365 is to use office apps directly in the browser. They work absolutely fine but there may be reasons why you would prefer the full-office programs. Also, if you want to use Microsoft Access then unfortunately this isn’t possible inside a browser. This is most likely down to the complexity behind Access, which simply isn’t capable of running in a browser.

Therefore, to use Microsoft Access you will need a paid subscription, and the ability to install these programs on a compatible operating system.

How to use MS Office on a Chromebook

To use MS Office on a Chromebook you’ll need two things. Either a copy of MS Office you can install available or sign up to Microsoft 365 where you’ll get access to Microsoft Access and all the other MS apps and full programs as part of your subscription.

The second thing you’ll need is Microsoft Windows, which you can install on your Chromebook providing you’ve got a pretty powerful device. I would suggest you need at least an Intel i5 eleventh-generation processor with 8GB of RAM and 64GB storage at an absolute minimum. However, there is no harm in giving it a try on an equally powerful device to see if it works. Providing you’ve got such a device you can install Microsoft Windows on your Chromebook as a virtual machine.


If you want to use Microsoft Access on your Chromebook I would first try to see if you can install Microsoft Windows using KVM. The link above will walk you through this process. Providing this is successful you can then follow the video at the top of this page to install MS Access.

I will warn you now that you will need to be patient when doing this because it can take some time. I would also strongly recommend following both videos without skipping anything. It’s a step-by-step process and if you miss one you may end up with error messages.