Saturday, August 1, 2009

When you don’t have the appropriate permissions


By Joe Dolittle

Reader Rod Smith writes:

I keep getting the message "You don't have appropriate permission to perform this action" in Outlook 2007 when I left click on "send/receive" in the toolbar. I use Windows XP. What can I do to correct this problem?

Unfortunately, as with most of our reader letters, Rod doesn't give us a lot of details. That's never stopped us before and I'm not going to let it stop us today.

As a general rule of thumb, when Outlook doesn't let you do something, the first place to look is your profile. I'd recommend creating a second profile and seeing if the problem exists when using the second profile. If the problem goes away, delete the first profile and you're good to go.

There is another possibility -- and this one is much more far-fetched. It could be that some of your Outlook files have the permissions set wrong. In Vista, much of the profile information can be found at:


where <your-login-name> should be subtituted with your login name. Check to see if the folder, the containing folder, the files, etc. have the wrong attributes (like, particularly, read-only). Of course, to do this, you'll need to make sure you can see hidden and system files and otherwise go mucking about your system.

Remember, if you break it, don't come running to us. And you could break it.

The actual problem

After we got back to him about our thoughts, Rod told us he'd figured out what was happening:

Thanks for your help. I found my problem. I had two setups of Outlook and I found the second one that was the problem. It was security on the file that I couldn't write to my .PST file. Once I took the security off, it worked.

So, there you go.