MS Office - Grant File Access Error

Fixing Permission Errors in MS Office for Mac

If you're using an older version of Microsoft 365 on your Mac, you might see an error saying "Word / Excel / Powerpoint cannot open the document: user does not have access privileges". Another message might pop up asking to grant access to the file, but that alone won't solve the problem. Here's what you can do to fix this issue.

Before You Start:

  • Make sure you have closed (quit) all open programs.

Clearing Out Old Font Settings and Permissions:

  1. Use Spotlight Search by pressing the "Command" and "Space" keys at the same time (if you're using Windows through something like TeamViewer, use the "Windows" key and "Space" instead),
  2. Type "Terminal" and open the terminal,
  3. Type this command in Terminal: sudo atsutil databases -remove. This helps by removing stored font information and old permissions that could be causing errors,
  4. Restart your Mac.

If you need more help or different solutions, check out this website: Office 2016 Grant Access Error on macOS.

Another Way to Fix the Problem:

If the first solution didn't work, try these steps to get to some hidden files that may need to be deleted:

  1. Again, close all open programs,
  2. Go to the "Terminal" app,
  3. To show hidden folders, type in: chflags nohidden ~/Library,
  4. From your desktop, click on the "Go" tab in the menu bar and click the "Library" option,
  5. Navigate to the "Containers" folder,
  6. Delete any folders that end in

If you still require assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk.

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Article ID: 4795
Thu 12/15/22 9:47 AM
Wed 11/29/23 10:10 AM