In Microsoft Access 2013 & 2016, you can create a database straight from the Welcome screen or from the work area. You can create either a blank database, or a database from a template.

Create a Blank Database

From the Welcome Screen

When you first open Access, the Welcome screen is displayed. You can create your database straight from here.

  1. Click Blank desktop database
  2. Name the database at the prompt and click Create

Your new database will have one table called “Table1”. You can modify this table to your needs. You can also create new tables and other database objects.

The following screenshots show the above steps in action.

The Welcome Screen

Screenshot of the Welcome screen in Microsoft Access 2013

The Microsoft Access Welcome screen allows you to create a database from scratch. You can also search through thousands of templates for a “pre-built” database that you can use to get started.

Naming the Database

Screenshot of prompt to name the database using Access 2013

After clicking on Blank Desktop Database you will be prompted to name your database before clicking “Create”.

The Blank Database

Screenshot of a blank database in Access 2013

This is a newly created blank desktop database. You can now customise this database to your own needs.

Create a Database from the Work Area

If you already have Access open, you can create a database from the File tab.

  1. Click the File tab
  2. Select Blank desktop database
  3. Name the database at the prompt and click Create

Here are screenshots for that.

The File Tab

Screenshot of the File tab in MS Access 2013

The “File” tab at the top-left of the Ribbon.

Selecting Blank desktop database

The File tab will bring you to the following screen. Similar to the Welcome screen, but with a File menu along the left.

Screenshot of the "File > New" screen in Access 2013

The “File > New” menu allows you to create a new database or search for a template.

After selecting Blank Desktop Database,  name the database at the prompt and click Create.

Your new database will look just like the blank one in the previous example, with a single table called “Table1”.

Create a Database from a Template

Microsoft Access gives you the option of using a template to create your database.  A template is basically a pre-built database, complete with tables, forms, reports, and other objects, that you can use as a starting point for your own database.

Access 2013 presents a handful of these templates on the Welcome screen. They are also available if you use the File menu to create your database. There are thousands of templates available, so Access provides a search box to help you sort through them all.

Screenshot of the database template screen in Access 2013

Access allows you to search through thousands of online database templates.

The templates are online, so once you find a template you think is suitable, you simply click to download it to your computer.

Note that, if you’re building a desktop database (i.e. one that you will have sitting on your computer), you will need to ensure that the template is prefixed with the word “Desktop”.  These prefixed templates are for building desktop databases. The others are for custom apps that are hosted online.