Fix: Cannot Complete Save Due to File Permission Error on Microsoft Word

Can’t figure out why you encounter a ‘cannot complete save due to file permission’ error on Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is one of the best tools you can use for word processing. It is widely used in businesses, schools, and other organizations. One of its main selling points is compatibility. With Microsoft Word, you can easily share documents with other users and edit your file from one system to another. 

However, this comes with its own issues as well. While sharing helps us work on various documents faster, we might encounter problems editing them if we lack permission. 

As it turns out, this has been the case for several MS Word users who encounter problems saving their documents due to a file permission error. This mostly occurs if you are editing a file from the cloud, but could also happen to local files. 

Usually, improper user configurations are the main reason for this error. However, it can also be due to outdated software and corrupted data. 

In this guide, we will show you how to fix the ‘cannot complete save due to file permission’ error on Microsoft Word. 

Let’s begin!

1. Restart Your Computer. 

When you encounter problems with Microsoft Word, the first thing you should do is restart your system. This should clear your temporary cache and eliminate errors that may have occurred during runtime. 

See the steps below to restart your PC: 

  1. First, press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start Menu
  2. After that, access the Power Options tab. 
  3. Lastly, choose Restart and wait for your system to reboot. 
restart your pc

Go back to your document to check if the problem is solved. 

2. Save As A New Document. 

More often than not, this error message on Microsoft Word occurs if you lack the permission to edit a file from the cloud. To bypass this restriction, you can simply save the file you’ve edited as a new document locally. 

Once you’re done, go ahead and upload the file to the cloud and share it with your workmates or colleagues. 

3. Disable Antivirus. 

Third-party antivirus software is a great tool to keep your system safe from malware and harmful files. However, most antivirus software can get too protective and block legitimate apps from accessing your resources. 

If you are having a hard time saving documents on Microsoft Word, your antivirus might be the culprit. To avoid issues, turn off your antivirus before using Word. 

On the other hand, you can try including MS Word in your antivirus’ exception list if it has that feature. 

4. Start Microsoft Word in Safe Mode. 

Starting Microsoft Word in safe mode might also help address this issue on your computer. This should run the software at its base setting without any add-ins or extensions. 

See the steps below to run Microsoft Word in safe mode: 

  1. On your keyboard, hit the Windows + R keys to open Run Command
  2. Now, type ‘word /safe’ in the dialog box. 
  3. Finally, hit the Enter key to run the command. 

Wait and observe if Microsoft Word would run on your computer. 

5. Launch Microsoft Word as Admin. 

You can also try running Microsoft Word as an administrator on your computer to bypass system restrictions. Your operating system might be preventing Word from accessing its resources, causing it to encounter issues while saving. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. On your desktop, locate Microsoft Word and right-click on it. 
  2. Next, choose the Properties option. 
  3. After that, go to the Compatibility tab and enable the ‘Run this Program as an Administrator’ option. 
  4. Lastly, click OK to save the changes. 
cannot complete save error on Microsoft Word

Go back to Microsoft Word to check if the problem is solved. 

6. Check for Windows Update. 

The version of Microsoft Word you are using might not be compatible with your system, causing the software to run into errors. To avoid issues, we suggest updating your operating system to the latest version.

Follow the guide below to update your OS: 

  1. Access Windows Settings by pressing the Windows + I keys on your keyboard. 
  2. Next, go to Update & Security
  3. Finally, click on Windows Update and choose the Check for Updates option. 
cannot complete save error on Microsoft Word

Restart your computer to apply the changes and see if you can now save your documents. 

7. Update Microsoft Word. 

If none of the solutions above worked, the last thing you can do is update Microsoft Word to the latest version. The version you are running might have an underlying issue that is related to file saving and editing. 

See the guide below to update MS Word: 

  1. First, go to File > Accounts
  2. After that, click on Update Options
  3. Lastly, choose Update Now and follow the prompts.
cannot complete save error on Microsoft Word

Try saving your document afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

That ends our guide on how to fix the ‘cannot complete save due to file permission’ error on Microsoft Word. If you have questions, drop a comment below, and we’ll be glad to help. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • John Sixto

    John is a staff writer at Saint and comes from a SAP ABAP development background. He has a Bachelors in IT and has been writing since 2018, with over 500 posts published. He loves to build PCs and has a deep curiosity in understanding how different components and configurations work. John spends hundreds of hours at a time, researching and testing the software and apps, before he proceeds to write about it. LinkedIn X (Twitter) Website

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