Background: I'm using GIS tutorial basic workbook (ArcGIS 10.1) with ArcGIS 10.5 software, and my MS office is 2010

I was practicing building a file geodatabase, and I have imported shapefile without issue, but I couldn't import the data table (.xlsx). The error message keeps popping up saying "Failed to connect to database. An underlying database error occurred. Class not registered".

I'm still fairly new to using the software so I'm not sure what went wrong.

  • 1
    Perhaps try to save as Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 or Excel 97-2003 (.xls) format before attempting to connect. I cannot categorically say that Esri wont connect to xlsx but I can attest that it should connect to xls. Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 2:44
  • 1
    .xlsx is not supported
    – Vince
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 3:00
  • 2
    .xlsx IS supported. See: Understanding how to use Microsoft Excel files in ArcGIS. ArcGIS supports both Excel 2003 and earlier .xls files and Excel 2007 .xlsx files.
    – GISGe
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 7:29
  • 1
    I have ArcGIS 10.3.1 and MS Office 2010 and can import an .xlsx sheet without any problem. Can you explain how you do proceed? Are you sure your sheet is structured like a table (no merged cells, etc.)?
    – GISGe
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 7:31
  • Doh I was thinking about .accdb due to the connection error. That error isn't raised with file geodatabase -- It indicates enterprise geodatabase connection failure, so the error and problem description are incompatible. Please edit the question to provide the exact geoprocessing command (from the Results panel), along withe the complete execution result.
    – Vince
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 11:48

3 Answers 3


Two easy solutions:

1) Save the XLSX file as an older XLS version via "File|Save As" in Excel and select "Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls)" as the file type. This should work with any version of Excel installed, which is required.

2) Download and install the 2007 Office System Driver: Data Connectivity Components from the MS Download Center. This is required even when working with Excel 2010 or 2013 to natively work with the XLSX files in ArcGIS. Should work immediately after installing.

One other tip when working with XLS/XLSX files, load the excel file into your MXD using "Add Data". Then proceed with joining the table to your other features using the loaded reference rather than pointing to the file directly.


The 2007 Office System Driver is no longer available from the MS link in user1565825's answer. I was able to download it from CNET here.

Installing this driver solved the problem in ArcGIS for me ("Class not registered"). I was unable to install the 2010 access driver, as it won't let you install the 32-bit version if you have 64-bit Office installed.

  • 1
    this CNET link doesn't look right, I think this is the right one (download.cnet.com/…) at least as of August 2019
    – a11
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 0:30

if ms office is not installed the office system driver is needed.

Microsoft Office Access Runtime and Data Connectivity 2007

Links from user1565824 and Jeff_K are not working any more.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.