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“Access is denied” error when trying to open a file

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Started ‎05-21-2010 by
Modified ‎05-21-2010 by


How do I open a file if I get an “Access is denied” error?


If you get a message denying access when you try to open a file, here are some options you can try:


Check the permissions of the file or of the folder the file is saved in:

  1. Right-click the file or folder, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Under Group or user names, click your name to see the permissions you have.


To open a file, you need to have read permission. For more information on permissions, see What are permissions? 


Check to see if the file is encrypted:

  1. Right-click the file, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the General tab, and then click Advanced.


If the Encrypt contents to secure data check box is selected, you need the certificate that was used to encrypt the file to open it. You should get the certificate from the person who created the file.  Visit Microsoft's support site for more information on private keys here