There was an error accessing the file – Microsoft PowerPoint

There was an error accessing the file – Microsoft PowerPoint

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There was an error accessing

How to fix There was an error accessing the file

“There was an error accessing path/filename” usually appears when you try to open a file from a network directory or a PowerPoint file you’ve downloaded from the internet or email.

“There was an error accessing the file” error can be caused by the following conditions:

  • Your hard drive or floppy drive has a corrupt section (damaged track or sector).
  • A temporary operating system or network failure has occurred.
  • Your network is unavailable, slow, or is corrupting data packets (failure of a router, network card, or noise on the network transmission line).
  • Your antivirus program may be causing problems accessing certain files.

In the case of a damaged disk, you must save the file to another location (for example, a different drive).
In the case of a failure of the operating system, this can be caused by various memory management problems, viruses, incorrect usage of a UNC, alias, or invalid permissions to the share where the file is stored.
If the network is experiencing problems, it is usually a temporary condition and if you wait for a short period of time and try again, you can usually save the file. If the problem persists, consult your network administrator.
Antivirus program can also cause a similar condition. Check with the manufacturer of your antivirus program.

Error Message

There was an error accessing the file

You might want to read about PowerPoint found a problem with content

Causes of "There was an error accessing the file"

“There was an error accessing the file” usually prompts under the following circumstances:

  • Virus infection to storage drive where PowerPoint files are saved can lead to corruption issues
  • Frequent changing the extension of PowerPoint file format to another, at times results in corruption issues
  • Sudden system shutdown due to unexpected power failure when PPT file is in use may corrupt the file
  • Human faults that are; abrupt termination of PowerPoint file without selecting Exit option might corrupt presentation file
  • Usage of an untrustworthy third-party application for modifying PPT files or application malfunctioning due to incorrect installation.

Resolution of "There was an error accessing the file"

Error message “There was an error accessing the file” tends to pop up whenever you try to open a file downloaded from the internet or from a network directory.

  • Unblock PowerPoint File
  • Disable Protected View
  • Make File Available Offline
  • Reuse Slides in New File
  • Open and Repair in Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Enable Distributed COM

1. Unblock PowerPoint File

If you come across an error message which prompts “There was an error accessing the file” it’s likely that Microsoft Powerpoint or Security Software has blocked the file for security reasons.

  • Open Windows File Explorer and Locate the problematic file on the computer.
  • Right-click on the file and select Properties at the bottom of the menu.
  • In the Properties dialog box, look for an Unblock button near the bottom right of the General tab, If it exists, click to select Unblock, then click Apply, and then click OK to dismiss the dialog box.
  • Now, try to open the PPT(PowerPoint) again.

Note: If the file isn’t blocked, the Unblock button won’t be visible, so this won’t be the solution to the problem.

Unblock Powerpoint File

2. Disable Protected View from Trust Centre Settings

If your file is considered potentially dangerous or from an untrusted source, the protected view won’t allow you to open it. To fix this, you need to disable the protected view.

  • Open PowerPoint, and Go to “File”.
  • Select “Options” in the menu.
  • In the options, select “Trust Center”.
  • At the Trust Center window, click the button for Trust Center Settings.
  • Click the option for Protected View and uncheck the following these 3 options
    • Enable Protected View For Files Originating From The Internet.  controls documents opened from a website.
    • Enable Protected View For Files Located In Potentially Unsafe Locations. – controls files opened from folders considered unsafe, such as Temporary Internet Files, etc.
    • Enable Protected View For Outlook Attachments. – controls email attachments,
  • Click “Ok”.

Now, try to open the file again.

Powerpoint Options
Powerpoint Trust Center

3. Make File Available Offline

If you are accessing the file from a network location, the might come across an error message “There was an error accessing the file”. To resolve this error make the file available offline: Please follow the below mentioned steps to make the file available offline:

  • Make a copy of the file.
  • Right-click on the filename.
  • Select Properties.
  • Click on the Offline Files tab.
  • Click box for “Always available offline
  • Click OK
Always Available Offline

4. Reuse Slides in New File

  • Start PowerPoint.
  • On the Home tab, in the Slides group, click New Slide, and then click Reuse Slides.
  • In the Reuse Slides pane, click Open a PowerPoint File.
  • In the Browse dialog box, locate and then click the presentation file that contains the slide that you want, and then click Open.
Reuse Slides from another Presentation

5. Open and Repair in PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint also provides an option to repair PowerPoint files.

  • Launch Microsoft PowerPoint, and go to “File” menu on the top right corner.
  • Select “Open” in the menu, and click “Browse”.
  • Locate the file that needs to be repaired and select it.
  • Click the small arrow located beside Open button and select Open and Repair option
  • Press “Repair” in the pop-up window.
  • Wait for the completion of the repair process

Now, try to open the file again.

This method can help you repair a slightly corrupted PowerPoint file. It may not work every time but it’s worth a try.

Open and Repair in PowerPoint

6. Enable Distributed COM

  • Click “Start“, “run
  • type dcomcnfg and click OK
  • The screen “component Services” will be exiled.
  • Expand “Component Services
  • Click on “Computers
  • Right Click on “My Computer
  • Click on “Properties
  • Click on “Default Properties” tab
  • On “Default Authentication Level“, select “Connect
  • On “Default Impersonation Level“, select “Identify
  • Click “OK

Now, try to open the file again.

Enable Distributed COM

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why I am getting There was an error accessing the file while opening a PPT file?

    “There was an error accessing the file” tends to appear when you open a file downloaded from the internet or from a network directory.
  2. How to repair a corrupted PowerPoint file?

    Open PowerPoint, go to File > Open. Browse and select your corrupt presentation file. Click the small arrow located beside Open button and select Open and Repair option. Wait for the completion of the repair process.
  3. Why is Powerpoint taking forever to open a PowerPoint file?

    Powerpoint add-ins or extensions, Memory, Graphics, Overheating, Processing Power, etc. can cause Powerpoint to not respond or take forever to open. Open the PowerPoint in safe mode to check if it is working fine. If it is running in Safe mode, remove the add-ins and extensions which are causing trouble. Disable Hardware acceleration to avoid graphics-related issues.

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