[FIXED] PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied – Your 2023 Guide to Solving this Common Pitfall

by Sachin

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the root cause of PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied.
  • Exploring the optimal scenario without this error.
  • Identifying when this error typically occurs.
  • Importance of resolving this error.
  • Seven practical solutions to fix PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied.
  • Tips to prevent PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied in the future.

The Ideal Scenario Without the PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied Issue

Ideally, any file or directory you try to access would open seamlessly without throwing any error messages. For instance, if you were trying to read a file, the file’s contents would display immediately upon command. Similarly, if you were trying to execute a script, it would run smoothly, producing the expected output.

However, given the diversity and complexity of modern computing systems, and the need to protect data, perfect scenarios are hard to come by. That’s why understanding the PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied The issue is so important.

When Does PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied Error Occur?

The PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied error can occur in several situations. Primarily, it happens when you or a program tries to perform an operation for which you lack the necessary permissions. For instance, this error can occur when:

  • You attempt to read a file but don’t have read access.
  • You try to write to a file or directory but don’t have write access.
  • You attempt to execute a file or script but don’t have execute permissions.

When Does PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied Error Occur

Basic Troubleshooting: Have You Tried These Steps?

Before we delve into the more detailed solutions, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you should consider:

  • Ensure you are logged in to the correct user account. Some files or directories may be accessible to specific users and not others.
  • Try restarting your system. This can sometimes resolve temporary issues that could be causing the error.
  • If you’re running a script, ensure it’s error-free and try running it in a different environment to see if the problem persists.

Why It’s Important to Resolve PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied

Resolving PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied is crucial for several reasons. If left unresolved, this error can prevent you from accessing important files or running necessary scripts, hindering productivity.

In addition, understanding and resolving this error can improve your understanding of file and directory permissions, enhancing your ability to navigate and troubleshoot issues in your computing environment.

7 Practical Solutions to Fix PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork let’s look at seven practical solutions to fix the PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied error.

SOLUTION 1: Checking File or Directory Permissions

Linux terminal file permissions
The first step in resolving this error is to check the file or directory’s permissions. If you do not have the necessary licenses, you must change them or ask the system administrator to do so.

To check file permissions in a Linux environment, use the ls -l command in the terminal.

SOLUTION 2: Changing File or Directory Permissions

Linux terminal file permissions
If you determine that you lack the necessary permissions, you can change them using the chmod command in a Linux environment. Be cautious when changing permissions; providing too many permissions can pose a security risk.

SOLUTION 3: Running the Program as a Superuser

Linux terminal sudo command
If changing permissions is not feasible or does not resolve the issue, you may need to run the program as a superuser. In a Linux environment, you can do this using the sudo command. Be aware that running programs as a superuser can have significant implications and should only be done when necessary.

SOLUTION 4: Changing File Ownership

Linux terminal chown command
In some cases, changing the file’s owner using the chown command in a Linux environment can resolve the issue.

SOLUTION 5: Checking for File Locks

Linux terminal lsof command
If another process locks the file, you may receive a PermissionError. You can check for file locks using the lsof command in a Linux environment.

SOLUTION 6: Disabling User Access Control (Windows)

Windows User Access Control settings
User Access Control (UAC) can sometimes cause a PermissionError in a Windows environment. You can try disabling UAC to resolve the issue.

SOLUTION 7: Contacting Support

If all else fails, consider reaching out to professional support. Provide them with detailed information about your issue, including the exact error message and the steps you’ve already taken to resolve it.

How to Prevent PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied Error in the Future

To prevent PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied in the future, ensure you understand file and directory permissions and use them appropriately.

Regularly review permissions and make changes as necessary. Always ensure your scripts and programs have the permissions required to operate correctly.


While encountering a PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied can be frustrating, but understanding its root cause and knowing how to resolve it can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Following the solutions provided in this guide, you should be well-equipped to handle this error.


Why do I get PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied?

This error occurs when you or a program you’re running tries to access a file or directory without the necessary permissions.

How can I resolve PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied?

Several ways to resolve this error include checking and changing file permissions, running the program as a superuser, changing file ownership, and disabling User Access Control on Windows.

Can PermissionError: [Errno 13] Permission Denied pose a security risk?

While the error is not a security risk, improperly resolving it can be. For instance, granting too many permissions or frequently running programs as a superuser can create security vulnerabilities.

What are file permissions?

File permissions determine who can read, write, and execute a file. They are an essential part of system security.

What does ‘chmod’ do?

chmod is a command in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that allows you to change the permissions of a file or directory.

What does ‘sudo’ do?

sudo is a command in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that allows a permitted user to execute a command as the superuser or another user, as specified in the sudoers file.

What does ‘chown’ do?

chown is a command in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that allows you to change the owner of a file or directory.

What is User Access Control (UAC) in Windows?

User Access Control (UAC) is a security component in Windows. It helps prevent unauthorized changes to the operating system by asking for permission or an administrator’s password before performing specific actions.

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