You receive a "Cannot delete <file name>" error message when you try to delete a file in the Open dialog box or in the Save As dialog box in Office

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Article ID: 298017 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q298017
For a Microsoft Office 2000 version of this article, see 224124.
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When you try to delete a file in the Open dialog box or in the Save As dialog box in one of the Microsoft Office programs listed in the "Applies to" section, you receive the following error message.

Microsoft Windows 98

Cannot delete 'file name'." Access is denied.

Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.

Microsoft Windows NT and Microsoft Windows 2000

Cannot delete 'file name'. There has been a sharing violation.

The source or destination file may be in use.

Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)

Cannot delete file name. Access is denied. The source file may be in use.

Microsoft Windows XP

Cannot delete file name. This file is in use by the following program: Microsoft Excel. You must close the file before proceeding.


This error message may occur if the following conditions are true:
  • The file is open.
  • You do not have delete permissions.
For the resolution that applies to your situation, see the "Resolution" section.


The file is open

If another user has the file open, or if you have the file open in another session of Excel, PowerPoint, or Word on the same computer, close the file before you try to delete it. When one of these programs opens a file, the file is locked and can only be opened again as read-only. The file cannot be deleted while it is locked.

You do not have delete permissions

If you open a file that is stored on another computer, verify that you have sufficient permissions to the folder or file. To delete a file, you must have either Full permissions or the following base permissions for the file or folder on the computer that is hosting the file:
   Operating      Windows NT     Windows NT    Windows 98
   system         Windows 2000   Windows 2000  Windows Me 
                  Windows XP
                  (NTFS)         (FAT)         (FAT)          
   --------       ------------   ------------  ----------   
   File:          RWXD           N/A           N/A      
   Folder:        RWXD           Change        DF             
      R = Read
      W = Write 
      X = Execute
      D = Delete
      F = List Files
      N/A = Not Available
Note When you use other network operating systems, such as Novell Netware, the requirements are similar to Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 (NTFS file system) requirements.


Article ID: 298017 - Last Review: January 30, 2007 - Revision: 5.0
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
kbsecurity kbpermissions kberrmsg kbprb kbui KB298017

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