Managing Access COM Add-Ins

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by Wayne Phillips, 17 January 2006    (for Access 2000+)

Most Access third party tools are implemented as either ActiveX controls or as MDA files (Access code library databases).  However, a few third party Access add-ins are implemented as COM add-ins.  COM Add-Ins are installed totally independent of normal Access Add-Ins - Access does allow you to manage (install / uninstall) COM Add-ins, but by default the menu item is not available on the toolbar.

This guide will show you how to open the COM Add-In manager in Microsoft Access so that you can install / uninstall COM Add-ins yourself.  Note that the Access COM-Add-In manager is not the same as the VBA COM Add-In manager, nor is it the same as the ordinary Access Add-In Manager.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the menu item: View / Toolbars / Customize...
  2. Move to the Commands tab
  3. Under the Categories list, select Tools
  4. Under the Commands list, find the item called COM Add-Ins... (it is usually found near the bottom of the list)
  5. Drag and drop the COM Add-Ins... item onto your Tools menu.
        (Note: it doesn't really matter _where_ you place the menu item, as long as it is accessible somewhere on your toolbar).
  6. Close the Customize dialog
  7. Open the new menu item, COM Add-Ins... from the Tools menu

You should now see a dialog similar to the following: (screenshot from Access 2003)

COM Dialog

The above dialog shows that I have a total of 4 COM Add-ins installed, 3 being disabled and 1 enabled. 

Please note: do not remove any items marked as #401 - they are add-ins used by Access for internal wizards and are only activated when needed.  If you remove them, you risk losing important functionality in Access.


*Microsoft Access is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries*

IMPORTANT: This document may not be reproduced in part or whole without prior consent from the author.


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