Unable to Access Document Google Drive Error – How to Fix

Are you facing this “Unable to access document” error in Google Drive? It is a very common Google Drive error, and if you are dealing with it, you have landed on the right webpage. In this article, we are going to share a detailed guide on what this error is and how to fix it.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started –

How to Fix Unable to Access Document Google Drive Error

This is one of the most common Google Drive errors faced mainly by smartphone users. However, many Google Drive users have reported that they are facing this issue on their desktop devices as well. So, it is not limited to smartphone devices only.

The biggest problem with this error is that we don’t know what the main cause of this error is.

However, after analyzing it thoroughly and reading workarounds that have helped other users, we came to the conclusion that these can be the possible reasons that trigger this Google Drive error –

  • There is a problem with your network connection.
  • Your account doesn’t have permission to open the file.
  • The cache memory is causing the issue.
  • You are using an outdated browser/application or corrupted extension.
  • Compatibility issues.
  • Some technical problem caused by the user-end or Google Drive’s server end is causing this temporary issue.

So, these are some of the possible reasons you are facing this Google Drive error. The good news is that these issues can be resolved within a few minutes by following the workarounds mentioned below.

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1. Check your network connection

One of the most common things that trigger this error is an unstable internet connection. Even the error message itself says that “Unable to access the document. Reason: connection error.”

However, even if you are getting a different error message, ensuring that your internet connection is properly working would not be a bad idea.

If you are on a smartphone, the very first thing that you should do is check whether you have enabled the internet connection or not. If yes, go to YouTube or any other website and stream a video to see if your internet connection is stable or not. We also recommend you restart your smartphone.

Similarly, on the desktop, you have to restart your computer as well as the internet connection. Turn off your router and turn it on after 3-5 minutes.

Once your computer and router restart, try to open any website and play a live video. After that, try to open the file again to see if the error is fixed or not.

If the issue isn’t fixed, it is quite certain that the internet connection is not the thing that is causing this issue.

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2. Make sure you have the latest version of Google Docs installed

If you are facing this error on your smartphone, you have to ensure that you are using the latest version of Google Docs.

To check that, simply follow these simple steps –

  • Launch the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
  • Search for Google Docs and tap on it.
  • Here, if you see the Update option, tap on it. 
unable to access document Google Drive

It will update the Google Docs application for you and probably fix the error.

3. Request permission to open the file

There are also chances that you don’t have permission to open the file. If this is going to be the reason, you will see the error message something like this – Unable to access the document. Reason: you need permission.

If you see an error with a similar message, your account probably lacks permission to access the file. If this is the case, you have to request access from the owner.

You can do that simply by following these simple steps –

  • Go to drive.google.com and log in with your Gmail account credentials.
  • Now, try to open the file.
  • If you lack permissions, it will redirect you to the page where you can ask the owner to grant you access to that file.
Unable to Access Document Google Drive Error
  • On this page, you have to click on the Request Access button.

This will send a notification to the owner of the file. If the owner approves your request, you will be able to open the file very easily.

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4. Fix browser related issues

There are quite a lot of chances that your web browser is causing the trouble. Now, there can be multiple browser-related issues that might be triggering this issue.

Here, we are going to one-by-one discuss each browser related issue and will tell you how to fix them –

Your browser is outdated

One of the most common browser-related issues is incompatible browser versions. It mainly happens when you are using an outdated browser. The simple solution for this is to update your web browser to the latest version.

Now, the methods can vary to update your browser to the latest version. Here, I am going to share the guide on how to update Chrome on desktop, but if you are using any other browser, you can see on the internet how to update your browser –

  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click on the three dots icon located at the top right corner of your screen.
  • There, you will see the help option. Click on it.
  • It will open a new menu for you. There, you have to click on the About Google Chrome option.
unable to access document in google drive
  • It will open a pop-up box where you will see the version of your web browser.

If you are using an outdated browser, it will give you an option to update your browser. Simply click on it, and it will automatically download and update your browser.

If you are on a smartphone, you can simply go to the Play Store and update both your browser and Google Drive application.

If updating your web browser doesn’t fix the issue, then another browser-related issue that may be causing the problem would be incompatible add-ons or extensions.

Read How to Embed PDFs from Google Drive

Clear Cache

While there are dozens of great benefits of cache memory, it sometimes can trigger errors like this. To know if the error has occurred due to cache memory, you can simply try to open the file on an incognito tab.

If the file opens, follow these steps –

  • Open your browser.
  • Click on the hamburger icon and select the Settings option.
  • Here, you will see a search box. Type Cache in the box, and it will show you cache-related settings.
  • There, you will see a Clear Cache option. Click on it.
  • It will show you a pop-up box where you have to ensure that all the boxes are checked.
unable to access document google drive android
  • After that, click on the Clear option.

Closing Comments

There you have it – a detailed guide on Google Drive unable to access document error.

Even though it is a very common error, there is no clear explanation of the reason that triggers it. Therefore, the only way to fix it is by ensuring that everything on your end is working fine.

The above-mentioned methods are quite effective for errors like this, and most probably, they will solve the error for you. However, if these methods fail, it is quite possible that there are some bugs at Google Drive’s server end causing this error.

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