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Can’t open a Google file or folder

If a file won’t open, a few things could be wrong:

  • The file owner didn’t give you permission to view the file.
  • You're signed in to a different Google Account.
  • Your access could be denied because someone removed your permission to view the file.

Get permission to open a file

  1. Open the file.
  2. On the "You need permission" page, 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.

If you need access right away

Contact the owner of the file and ask them to give you access.

Try a different Google Account

If you have more than one Google Account, see if you have access to the file with a different account.

To switch to another account:

  1. Open the file.
  2. On the "You need permission" page, click Switch accounts.
  3. Sign in with a different Google Account and see if you can open the file.

Get more help

If you still can’t open a file or folder, check out the answers in the Google Drive forum.

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

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