How to fix “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error on Windows?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -
12

Question

Issue: How to fix “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error on Windows?

Each time I try to save files in any folder, Desktop, Documents, Pictures, OneDrive or anything else, I get an error that claims “You don’t have permission to save in this location,” etc. I tried saving in alternative folders, but the same error shows up again and again. It’s a vicious circle and I don’t know how to get out of it. Could you please help?

Solved Answer

“You don’t have permission to save in this location” is a pop-up notification, which can show up on any Windows OS version when the system encounters a problem with Permissions.[1] It occurs when PC's user marks the file and drags it or copies-pastes it to the preferred location. The full message says: 

C:/ Program Files (x86)/NewTextFile.txt
You don't have permission to save in this location
Contact the administrator to obtain permission

Would you like to save in the My Documents folder instead?

The patch and the alternative location differ in each case. There are many reasons why people may encounter the “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error. Initially it was registered in Windows 7 and then transmigrated into Windows 8. According to people's reports, older versions returned this notification due to missing permissions, so the top pick solution is to give a full control to Administrators over problematic folder. 

“You don’t have permission to save in this location” error

Giving permission to modify particular folder is hardly a solution if the “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error occurs when saving in many different places. In this case, you should try to add your account to Administrators group. 

User Account Control (UAC)[2] is yet another feature, which can trigger such and similar problems. UAC is relatively new security feature currently available in Windows 10 OS only. Despite its usefulness, Microsoft admits that UAC activity may sometimes be overaggressive and causing errors like “You don’t have permission to save in this location.” 

In some of the cases, full Windows optimization[3] with Reimage is sufficient to fix “You don’t have permission to save in this location”  and similar errors. This scenario is possible in those cases when Windows malfunctions due to corrupted system files, registries or malware. Otherwise, you may need to fix you don’t have permission error by following this tutorial:

Methods helping to fix “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error

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To start with, it’s advisable to run Windows Troubleshooter. Several people have reported that this tool automatically detected and fixed the problems. If, however, the issue hasn’t been resolved, disable third-party antivirus if you are using one. Kaspersky and Avast programs might have changed security settings automatically or several malfunctions of these programs may be causing “You don’t have permission to save in this location” bug. If you are still facing the issue, then the only way to work around it is to modify security settings manually:

Method 1. Give permission to the current user

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press Windows key + R to open Run.
  • Type netplwiz and press Enter.
  • When the User Account dialogue box opens, click Users tab.
  • Locate the account with which you are encountering the error and click on it.
  • Select Properties and check the Administrator box.
  • Click Apply and OK to save the changes.
  • Finally, reboot your PC.

Change the user

Method 2. Give Full Control to Administrators over particular folders

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Right-click on the problematic folder and select Properties
  • Open Security tab and select Edit
  • Select Administrators and mark Full control in Allow column.
  • Click Apply and OK to save the changes. 

In case full control has already been given, select any other option from Deny column and then re-select Full Control in Allow section again. 

Give full control over the folder

Method 3. Change the owner of the affected folder

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Right-click on the folder, which throws the “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error.
  • Select Properties and open Security tab.
  • Click Advanced and find Owner.
  • Select Change button next to Owner and type your username.
  • Click Check Names and press Enter.
  • Check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and click OK.
  • If “Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you full control?” message shows up, press Yes to continue.
  • After that, press Edit button and click on your username.
  • Select Full control and click OK.
  • Press Apply and OK to save the changes.
  • Reboot your PC to activate the changes.

Method 4. Disable User Account Control

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage Reimage.
  • Press Windows key + S to open Search.
  • Type User Account and select Change User Account Control settings option.
  • Move the slider to Never notify and click on OK to save changes.

Disable UAC

Hopefully, these steps helped you to fix “You don’t have permission to save in this location” error successfully. If none of the methods worked, please let us know and we'll analyze your case individually. 

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About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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