How to fix “It looks like you don’t have permission to save changes to this file” in Windows?

Question

Issue: How to fix “It looks like you don’t have permission to save changes to this file” in Windows?

Hi. I have encountered a weird problem I have never dealt with before, so I hope I can get some help. I have a photo that I need to crop, and every time I try to save it, I receive an error “It looks as though you don't have permission to save changes to this file. Try saving a copy instead.” I am running Windows 10.

Solved Answer

Many users reported an error “It looks as though you don't have permission to save changes to this file” when trying to save a file on a Windows computer. This affects picture files mostly, although some people reported having the same problem with video or audio files. This can be particularly annoying to deal with, so we are here to help you to fix this problem.

Editing pictures is something most people do once in a while – be it cropping, increasing brightness or saturation, reducing or increasing size, and much more. There are plenty of file editing programs, from advanced tools such as Adobe Photoshop to basic Windows Paint or Microsoft Photo App. It seems like it does not matter which apps users use when they encounter the error, however.

This means that the problem does not lie within the application but rather in Windows itself. The most common reason for the error is insufficient permissions, as the error message describes.

There is something to clarify here, however. When we are talking about insufficient permissions, we do not mean insufficient permissions over the file, as most people have that covered already. Most users receive the error when they do have control over it, hence it becomes really frustrating.

How to fix "It looks like you don’t have permission to save changes to this file" in Windows?

In most cases, the error shows up only after users move the picture from one system drive (HDD, SSD)[1] to another or from cloud storage to their personal device and then try to edit it. In such a case, simply unblocking the file via Properties should help you fix the “It looks as though you don't have permission to save changes to this file” error.

However, there could be many other different scenarios that users might be experiencing, and the reason (and solution) could lie somewhere else. For example, when you are using a non-administrator[2] account or when Windows system files are corrupt.[3]

Speaking of which, if the reason for this error is corrupt system files, you should fix them easily and remove any other inconsistencies within the Windows with ReimageMac Washing Machine X9.

1. Unblock the picture

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If the picture's attributes are set to Read-only, you will not be able to edit it. You can remove this attribute via the Properties:

  • Right-click on the image you want to edit and select Properties
  • In the General tab, look at the Attributes section at the bottom of the window
  • Untick the Read-only marker
  • If Unblock is not ticked, tick it.
  • Click Apply and OK. Unblock a file

2. Run the editing software as administrator

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Another way to fix this problem is by running the editing software as admin.

  • Type in the name of the application you use to edit pictures in Windows search
  • Right-click on the result and pick Open file location
  • Right-click on the EXE file and select Run as administrator Run as administrator
  • Try editing the picture once more.

3. Run SFC and DISM

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

Corrupted system files can be one of the reasons for not being able to edit some files. Here's how to fix it:

  • Type cmd in Windows search
  • Right-click on Command Prompt result and select Run as administrator
  • When User Account Control shows up, click Yes
  • In the new window, type in the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
    sfc /scannow
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth Run SFC and DISM

4. Fix Windows Photo App

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.

If you are experiencing the problem on Windows Photo App alone, this step might help you fix the problem.

  • Right-click on Start and pick Apps & Features
  • Scroll down until you find Microsoft Photos – click it
  • Here, pick Advanced options
  • Scroll down and click Terminate and Reset Reset Microsoft Photo App
  • Try editing the picture once again.

Other topics that might help you:

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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