Can’t open a file

When you try to open a file that you don't have access to, you'll see a message that says "You need permission." The file you want to access is a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file, which means the owner of the file has to give you permission to open it.

Below are some possible ways you can try to access the file.

Option 1: Get permission to open the file

If you can't open a file that you tried to access by email or a link, you might not have permission to open the file.

To request access:

  1. Open a link to the file.
  2. Click Request access.
  3. The owner of the file will get an email asking for approval. After they approve your request, you'll get an email.

Contact the owner directly

It may be quicker to send the owner of the file an email or chat message asking them to give you access if you think you shouldn't be seeing this message or you don't receive an email after requesting access.

Option 2: Use a different Google Account that has access

If you have more than one Google Account, the account you're currently signed in with might not have access to the file. To switch to another account:

  1. On a computer, open the file using a web browser, like Chrome.
  2. On the "You need permission" page, click Switch accounts.
  3. Sign in with the Google Account that has access to this file.

Still need help?

If this didn't help you, try looking at other answers in the forum.

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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