Neither adding a Microsoft Access table directly into ArcMap, nor opening and modifying a Personal Geodatabase in Microsoft Access is supported by Esri because this can damage the Access database. Instructions provided describe how to use Microsoft Access tables in ArcGIS by way of an OLE DB connection.
Note: Even though Microsoft Access Databases and Esri's Personal Geodatabases are both built on the MDB file format, they should not be opened through their non-native software.
Use the following workaround to create an OLE DB connection to the Access Database:
Note: Refer to FAQ: Where is the 'Add OLE DB Connection' command in ArcGIS Desktop 10.1? to add OLE DB Connections for ArcGIS 10.1 and above.
Note: The Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider can also be selected.
Note: It is possible to use Linked Tables in Access. These are not viewable through an OLE DB connection, although Access Queries are viewable. To use the Linked Table, create a query in Access that references the Linked Table, and connect to the Linked Table through the query in the OLE DB connection.
Note: It is important to note the limitations of working with OLE DB connections. Click on the links provided in the Related Information section below for more information.
Note: For issues related to bug NIM009080, resolve them using the Microsoft Access ODBC Driver instead of an OLE DB connection.