Solving the ACE Driver Bitness Madness

Scenario: You have installed Office 32-bit (I’m yet to see a company that installs 64-bit as IT loves default paths). Then, you install Power BI Desktop 64-bit. Upon trying to connect to some Office file, such as Access or Excel, you get a compatibility error. You try to install the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable but then you are greeted with “You have a 32-bit version of Office installed”.

Solution: Install the 64-bit Redistributable with the passive overwrite:

  1. Download the 64-bit Microsoft Access Database Engine redistributable.
  2. Open Command Prompt to the download location and execute the following command:
    AccessDatabaseEngine_X64.exe /passive

You can use a similar procedure to force the 32-bit driver if you have Office 64-bit.