How to Fix “Access was denied” Error on Google Drive

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive

Tried to access a document or content or download an image off Google Drive and you get hit with an Access was denied error page?

Well, you’re not alone. After spending a few minutes trying to find a fix for this, a few solutions arise that may be of some help to you. 🙂

In this guide, I’ll help you step-by-step on how you can fix from getting the Access was denied error on Google Drive when trying to access or download the content.

Let’s dive right in.



Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive: 3 Ways


1.  Sign Out of All Accounts.

This straight-up fixed the issue for me as I had around 5 accounts signed into Google.

Thanks go to the user named MisterCanada, over at the Google Product Forums. He explained how such problems are due to the user being signed into multiple Google accounts at the same time on the device/computer that they are using.

Thus, when the user tries to access the document or download the image (in my case) from Google Drive, the system gets confused whether to allow you in using any of the accounts you are signed into. This is a potential security flaw, as suggested, where if multiple users are using the same workstation then one user could access the contents of another user without any limits or restrictions.

Hence if you are signed into multiple Google accounts all logged in at once, then try to sign out all of them and then sign back into the account you are trying to access the document.

Here’s how you sign out of all your accounts:

  1. Jump into Google and then click on your profile icon (top-left corner).
  2. Next, from the dropdown menu with the list of all your Google accounts, click on the Sign Out button to sign out of all the accounts.

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive


  1. Finally, just sign into the Google account that you need and then try to reload the page once again and do whatever you did before again to see if it works this time.

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive

Done ✅



2.  Incognito Workaround 🕵️‍♀️

Another way that has worked for a few our readers, as well as users on the Google forums, is to open up the Incognito window on Google Chrome search browser and then proceed to download the item that you initially tried before receiving the “Access to was denied” error page.

As stated by Google, Here’s how you open Incognito mode on Google Chrome:

  1. Get onto your computer and then open (Google) Chrome.
  2. Next, at the top right-hand corner, click the More button (three dots) and then choose to open in New Incognito Window.

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive


  1. A new window pops up. On this page, you are now browsing in Incognito mode. How do you tell? In the top corner, check for the Incognito icon. This means you’re browsing in Incognito mode (or otherwise known as private browsing mode)

Google Incognito Mode


Keyboard Shortcut for Incognito

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to open an Incognito window at any time:

•  Windows, Linux, or Chrome OS: Press Ctrl + Shift + n.

•  Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + n.


  1. Once you are browsing in Incognito mode, you can retry once again to access the content that didn’t work for you earlier. Try it and see if it works.



3. Disabling Any Google Extensions 🔌

One of the other working solutions to this matter has been to disable any extensions that may be running in the background of your Chrome browser.

Having many extensions running can interfere with the Google Drive and confuse it to think that you may not be who you say you are — which then disables access to the content you’re trying to access.

To disable any extension here are the steps:

  1. Go ahead and copy-paste the following link into your navigation bar: chrome://extensions then proceed.

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive



You may also use the menu button (the three vertical dots) at the top right corner of Chrome to access the More tools then simply click on the Extensions option

Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive


  1. Now that you’re in the Extensions page, simply either uncheck the Enabled box to disable the Chrome extension or click the trash button to remove any extension.


Done. ✅ Try disabling a few extensions and retry once again to access the content in your Google Drive.


Let us know down below if you found a better option and we will update the article with your credit.


If this guide was helpful, please share it. 🙂


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