If you try to open a Word document and get an error stating that the Word cannot open the document: user does not have access privileges, you may not have permission to open it, share it with another user, or even edit the document. The error can occur on documents that you have created or those that are shared with you by another user or on the network.
Some Word users have reported receiving an error indicating that they do not have access privileges to their documents on Windows 11 or 10. This can be aggravating, which is why we will look at various ways to fix the error in this post.
Word cannot open the document: user does not have access privileges.
The error has been reported on different devices, such as Windows PCs and Macs.
Why is Microsoft Word saying the user does not have access privileges?
There are several reasons you don’t have access privileges to your Microsoft Word document, but the most common one is a lack of permissions. If you are trying to access a protected document or one that requires administrative privileges, Word will pop up an error message and deny you access.
Unsupported formats, inaccessible file or folder locations, changes in the document, damaged or corrupted files, or some third-party antivirus software that protects files are other reasons why Office Word says you do not have access privileges.
Word User does not have access privileges
If Word cannot open the document and you see User does not have access privileges error message, try the following solutions:
- Start with preliminary steps
- Get Word document full control
- Create a copy with possible Properties removed
- Transfer unopened documents to another device or drive
- Change Inherit from parent entries option
- Check your antivirus software
Let us look at these solutions in detail.
1] Start with preliminary steps
Some errors can be triggered by simple glitches that can be fixed by following simple steps. Perform the following steps to fix Word if you have no access privileges:
- You can restart your computer and see.
- Try accessing the document with an administrator’s account. Some local accounts may have restricted access to some documents.
- Try another program. If Word has issues, try another word processor to see if the error still pops up.
- Ensure the external drive is correctly connected to your PC if you are accessing the Word document which is on it.
- Transfer the document to another drive or device and try to access it.
If your document cannot be opened even after following the above steps, try the other suggestions below.
2] Get Word document full control
If a user does not have access to their documents, it usually means that they do not own the document and do not have permission to work on it. Follow the steps below to gain full controlof the file:
- Locate the affected document and right-click on it.
- Go to Properties and then Security.
- If you have no access to the document, you will get an error message You must have Read permissions to view the properties of this object. Now, you will have to change the permission settings.
- Go to Advanced > Add > Select a principal > Advanced > Find Now > Authenticated Users > OK.
- Check the box next to Full control, and ensure all other boxes under Basic permissions are checked.
- Click on the OK button to complete the process.
This should give you access privileges to your document.
3] Create a copy with possible properties removed
MS Word saves personal details in the document information section. However, these details can trigger Word not to give access privileges to any other user. So, you must remove this information and some properties from the document. Follow the steps below to create a copy of the document with possible properties removed:
- Locate the document and right-click on it.
- Go to Properties > Details > Remove Properties and Personal Information > OK.
- Finally, click on Create a copy with all possible properties removed option and then OK to complete the process.
4] Transfer unopened documents to another device or drive
Transferring the affected document from one device or drive to another can fix a file that says the user does not have access privileges. For instance, if the document is saved on an external drive, you can copy and paste it onto your computer disk and try to access it. Or, you can transfer the Word file from one device to another. This can resolve the issue if one drive or device has an issue.
5] Change Inherit from parent entries option
The settings for “Inherit from parent entries” are enabled on Word by default. It is not recommended to disable them, but we can try to change them and see if you can get access privileges for your file.
To disable the Inherit from parent entries option, right-click on the affected document and go to Properties > Security >Advanced > Disable inheritance > Apply > OK. If this does not resolve the issue, re-enable the inheritance settings.
6] Check your antivirus software
Some antivirus software have a protected file feature that restricts users’ access privileges to some of their Word documents. To check if the document is under protected files, go to the respective antivirus software settings and check. You can remove the restrictions for the file and see if you can now access it.
We hope a solution here works for you.
Read: How to grant or get Elevated Privileges in Windows
How do I grant access privileges in Word?
To grant access privileges in Word, click on the Share button and go to More Options > Manage Access. After that, select the permissions by clicking the arrow list. You will be presented with two options: Can edit and Can view. The Can edit option allows the person with whom the document is shared to get access to make edits to the document, while the Can view option grants the user permission to only view the document. Finally, close the window to update the changes.
Why the file cannot be opened on Windows?
If you get an error that the files can’t be opened on a Windows PC, it might be a blocked file in the properties. This can occur with virus-infected files, and Windows will not allow you to open them until they are virus-free. Some files can be corrupted and might need to be fixed before they can be opened.
Read: You do not have permission to view this object’s security properties.