I am trying to set up a an ODBC link to Access 2007 32-bit but not having any success. My system is a win7 pro 64-bit and I have QGIS 64-bit installed. Here are the steps I have already tried.

  1. Set up an ODBC link using c:\windows\syswow64\odbcad32.exe. However, when I try to use that, the error message states that there is an architecture mismatch, which I assume means between 64- and 32-bit architecture.

  2. Tried to set up the ODBC link from the standard location in Control Panel, but the error is that the Microsoft Access driver isn't installed.

  3. Downloaded the Microsoft Access 64-bit Runtime, but when installing the error comes up that the 32-bit Access is installed and the 64-bit Runtime cannot be installed.

I am not sure where to go from here.

I know that I can change databases and go with a spatial system, but this is a regular download from a government site, which would mean a lot of extra work. Any assistance would be much appreciated.

  • oh yeah, caught in the same trap. could not open a .mdb with QGIS64bit, also tried to install 64bit microsoft access drivers. First you have to uninstall 32bit Office (what a crap!) Did the stupid thing to install a 64bit Office afterwards! Now, no ODBC driver works anymore, not in 32bit nor 64bit. And Office 2010 64bit doesn't like my macros. Conclusion: hands off from Office 64bit (read afterwards that Microsoft doesn't recommend it either!!!) and hands off QGIS 64bit as long as those issues arend't handled. Also see this thread: hub.qgis.org/issues/8752
    – Bernd V.
    Nov 18, 2013 at 17:10
  • @BerndV. I use QGIS 64 bit every day and it works fine.
    – Alex Leith
    Mar 10, 2014 at 22:42

2 Answers 2


Here's the thing. Windows 64 bit stores the 64 bit odbcad.exe in the System32 folder. The one in the location that you're editing, c:\windows\syswow64\odbcad32.exe, is actually the 32 bit one. Hilarious right? 32 bit applications in the syswow64 folder, 64 bit applications in the System32 folder! There are reasons though.

Now, for QGIS, add the ODBC driver in the odbcad for the right architecture for you:

  • for 32 bit applications, open c:\Windows\syswow64\odbcad32.exe
  • for 64 bit applications, open c:\Windows\system32\odbcad32.exe

To do this quickly, you can use my reg scripts: https://gist.github.com/alexgleith/9358893

  • Can you please describe the steps on how how to setup a DB connection from QGIS 64 bit to an MS Access DB with MS Office 32 bit installed? Thanks
    – Techie_Gus
    Jan 8, 2017 at 16:07

Try uninstalling QGIS-64 bit and re-install QGIS-32 bit. Then try the odbc link. This trick worked for me, I think that QGIS-64 is looking in the wrong folder (the system32 folder) for the ODCB link. Using QGIS-32 will cause it to look in the SysWOW64 folder.

  • See my answer below. There are two ODBC driver locations in 64 bit Windows. One for 32 bit applications, one for 64 bit applications.
    – Alex Leith
    Mar 10, 2014 at 22:41

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