How to fix Access to was denied in Google Drive

If you’re seeing Access to was denied, you are probably trying to download a document, spreadsheet or file off Google Drive or Google Docs/Sheets. You’re not alone, dozens other users face the same issues every day. The real reason to this problem can come from the network stack, the Google servers itself or simply too many accounts are logged in on your computer.

In this article, we will show you how to fix Access to was denied and successfully download or edit the content you want.

Retry on an Incognito window with Chrome

As numerous online help had answered, the most common cause for the problem is too many Google accounts are logged in on your computer at the same time (on the same browser, of course). Every time you attempt to access a file or document on Google Drive, the browser has to determine which accounts to be used. Most of the time, this process works flawlessly, but sometimes the system mixes them up and cause errors, it’s better to avoid signing in to multiple accounts at all.

If you don’t want to keep your existing workflow on Google Chrome, you can open up an incognito window and then proceed to download the item that you initially tried before receiving the “Access to was denied” error page.

Incognito on the computer

If you are using Chrome on your computer and other users have access to the device, then you can turn on the incognito mode following the steps below.

  1. Open your Chrome browser.
  2. The main page will load, you need to go to the settings menu. To do this, click the "three-dots" button at the top right corner.
  3. A list of functions will be displayed under the button, select "New Incognito window".image-20210412103927825

Alternatively, to enter Incognito mode quicker, simultaneously hold down Ctrl + Shift + N on the keyboard and a second Google Chrome window will open up, where everything you access will be deleted at the moment you close the window.

Incognito on a smartphone

A similar procedure can be done on a smartphone. If you have a mobile version of Google Chrome installed on your phone , you can enable hidden work in the browser using the following actions:

  1. First open the Chrome browser.
  2. From the home page, go to the menu (three vertical dots at the top).
  3. In the list of options, select "New Incognito Tab".

In a new tab, you can work in Incognito mode and at the same time all your actions in the browser will be kept secret. You can open as many tabs as you like without affecting Chrome’s performance. To turn off private mode, just close these tabs by tapping the cross button in each tab. These instructions is applicable to Chrome for all Android-based phones and iOS devices.

Create a new Chrome profile and try again

Another way that has worked for most of our readers, as well as users across Google Support forums, is to create a new Chrome profile, therefore accessing google with a clean, untampered browser instance.

Actually, when you create a new Chrome profile, you’ll be browsing the internet with clean identity. It practically equivalent to a full browsing data clearance on Chrome.

Here’s how you can create a new Google Chrome user profile.

  1. Open your Chrome browser.
  2. The main page will load, you need to go to the User Management menu. To do this, click your avatar (if you’re signed into Google) right next to the "three-dots" button at the top right corner.image-20210412105731756
  3. A list of user profiles will be displayed. To add a new user, click Add at the bottom of the menu.
  4. A new dialog will pop up, allows you to name your new profile and optionally choose an avatar for it. You can create a desktop icon for quick access by ticking Create a desktop shortcut for this user.image-20210412110113670
  5. Once you’re done configuring your new profile, click Add and another Chrome window will open up as the new user profile.

Clear browsing data and cookies

"Access to was denied" error occurs when you are signed into more than one Google account and trying to download something or access something from a non-primary Google account. If you open the download link in a new tab, the browser will assume you’re accessing the file using your primary Google account, which is why you get the error. It is a legitimate error because your primary google account is indeed not authorized to open another accounts links. You can clean your browsing data and cookies to see if the problem does away.

To do that in Google Chrome, follow these steps

  1. Open Chrome browser menu and go to the "History" section or alternatively, press Ctrl + H .
  2. Click Clear browsing data in the left sidebar. You’ll then be taken to the corresponding settings page.
  3. Make sure Browsing history, Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files are ticked. You can choose to clear data from the last hour, last 24 hours, 7 days, 4 weeks or clear all of them according to your specific needs.image-20210412111023665
  4. Once you’ve done fiddling with the settings, click Clear data and wait a moment for Chrome to finish deleting your data.

Disable all Chrome extensions

One more thing you can try is to disable all the extensions installed on your Chrome browser. Having too many extensions running can interfere with the web page internals, therefore causes strange errors such as "Access to was denied". There’s also a chance that the extension is corrupted, cause bizarre browser behavior.

To disable every extensions you’ve installed, follow these steps:

  1. Go ahead and copy-paste the following string into Chrome navigation bar: chrome://extensions then proceed. Access Was Denied Error on Google Drive

  2. Now that you’re in the Extensions page, simply either click the switch in the lower right corner of any extension to disable it or click Remove to uninstall it altogether.

  3. Try disabling a few extensions and retry accessing the file or document on Google again.

Let us know down below if you found a better option and we will update the article with your credit.

2 thoughts on “How to fix Access to was denied in Google Drive”

  1. Gracias, me sirvió limpiar el historial / Thank you, it helped me to clear the history


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