Fix: It looks like you don’t have permission to save changes to this file

Editing photos on our devices is a frequent task. However, if you’ve encountered the error message ‘It looks like you don’t have permission to save changes to this file’ while attempting to edit a picture on your Windows machine, you know how frustrating it can be. This issue, clearly indicated by the message, arises from insufficient permissions.

Error message indicating lack of permission to save file changes

Insufficient permissions can stem from various factors. For instance, this message might occur if you do not have ownership of the file. Such issues, including ‘You don’t have permission to save in this location’ and the current permission error, are common but manageable. Even with adequate permissions, you can still face this problem. It often relates to moving an image from another drive or OneDrive to your computer, which can cause the file to be blocked, preventing editing.

To remedy the situation, one can unblock the image through the Properties window before proceeding. Below, we present multiple solutions to eliminate the noted error message, allowing you to edit your photos without hindrance.

1. Run Photo Editor as an Administrator

Try launching your third-party photo editor as an administrator if you encounter the error. If you’re using the built-in Windows Photo Editor, skip this step. Sometimes the editor may lack sufficient permissions to save changes to the image. Running the editor with administrative privileges may resolve the issue.

  1. Navigate to the location of your Photo Editor. You can also use a desktop shortcut if available.
  2. Right-click on the application and select Run as an administrator from the context menu.
    How to run an application as an Administrator
  3. Accept the UAC prompt by clicking Yes, then attempt to save your edited image.
  4. Check if the error message still appears.

2. Save Picture in a Different Folder

Try saving your edited image in a different folder to bypass the issue. For instance, if the original image is on your Desktop, save the edited version elsewhere. Other users have found this method successful when facing similar permission issues.

Procedure for saving a picture to a different folder

3. Change Properties of the Picture

Sometimes, the root cause is the file properties, especially if you’ve transferred the image from another drive or OneDrive. The file might be blocked by Windows, making it uneditable. To change this, unblock the file through the Properties.

  1. Locate your picture.
  2. Right-click on the file and select Properties.
    Accessing the Properties window
  3. In the General tab, look for the message “This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer” and ensure the Unblock checkbox is unchecked.
    Modifying Picture Properties
  4. Also, ensure the Read-only checkbox is unchecked. Click Apply followed by OK.
  5. Try saving the edited picture to see if the issue has been resolved.

4. Repair and Reset Windows Photo App

If none of the previous solutions have worked and you are using the Windows Photo app, it might need repair. This process is straightforward; it identifies and fixes application issues. Should repairing not solve the problem, you may need to reset the app, which reinstalls it.

  1. Open the Windows Settings app with Windows key + I.
  2. In the Settings window, navigate to Apps.
    Accessing Windows Settings
  3. Search for the Photos app using the provided search bar.
    Locating the Microsoft Photos App
  4. Select it and click on Advanced options.
    Accessing Advanced Options
  5. Scroll to the Repair and Reset buttons.
    Microsoft Photos Advanced Options Screen
  6. Try repairing first, and if necessary, proceed to reset.

Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.