Can't Open Files on Mac? Fix It With 4 Easy Ways

Have you ever experienced can't open files on Mac, especially when you use Microsoft Suite? Feel at ease; this post will help you open your files on Mac with 4 simple methods, keep reading to find the best solution for you.

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I bought a new Macbook Pro last week, and it runs OS Monterey vs 12.3.1. All my files are synchronized via a NAS to my Macbook and a Windows desktop. However, I failed to open any PDF files and could not open some MS Word and Excel files either. I had no problem at all with my previous Macbook Pro 2018 (Big Sur). Any fix? - from Apple Community

You may be freaked and panicked when you can't open files on Mac, especially when their files are very important or urgently needed. Do not worry; this post will give 4 feasible fixes to solve this error.

Fix 1. Solve Can't Open Files on Mac With File Repair Software

If your files are corrupted and damaged, they may not be able to be opened. In this case, you need helpers like file repair software to solve file corruption and restore your file to a stable and normal state. EaseUS Fixo File Repair may be the best solution for you.

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This Microsoft repair software can repair corrupted files on Mac with three steps. Repair corrupted PDF files, Excel, Word, and more. Here are some more common cases that this file repair tool for Mac can perfectly fix:

You can free download EaseUS Fixo File Repair and fix corrupted files on Mac with the detailed guide here:

Step 1. Download and launch Fixo on the Mac. Choose "File Repair" from the left panel. Click "Add Files" to select corrupted Office documents, including Word, Excel, PDF, and others you want to repair.

macfixo document repair step 1

Step 2. To repair corrupted files in batch, click the "Repair All" button. If you want to repair a specific document, move your cursor to the document and click the "Repair" button. You can click the eye icon to preview the repaired document.

macfixo document repair step 2

Step 3. Click "Save" to save a selected document. To keep all the repaired documents, choose "Save All". When the save completes, click "View Repaired" to locate the repaired folder.

macfixo document repair step 3

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Fix 2. Relaunch the Application to Troubleshoot Mac File Won't Open

Application malfunction may hinder when you try to open your files on Mac. You can try Force Quit the application and relaunch it like this:

Step 1. Click on the Apple logo from the top-left of your desktop.

Step 2. Select "Force Quit" from the drop-down menu.

Step 3. Choose the application you currently use to open the problematic file and select "Force Quit".

force quit word

Now, you can relaunch the app and reopen your files to see if the error persists. This method also works when PowerPoint is not opening on Mac.

Fix 3. Fix File Not Opening on Mac by Changing File Permission

If you forget to change the permission settings for your files, you may also fail to open them. Try changing the file permission like this:

Step 1. Right-click on the file you want to open and choose "Get Info".

choose get info from drop down menu

Step 2. Click the padlock and enter the admin account and password.

Step 3. Under the Sharing & Permissions section, set the privilege to your account as "Read & Write".

change to read and write

You can refer to this post when you encounter Microsoft Word cannot save file permission error:

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Word Cannot Complete the Save Due to a File Permission Error Mac [Fixed]

The Word cannot complete the save due to a file permission error that may occur while saving files in Microsoft Word on your Mac. You can try to fix the file permission error in several ways.

word cannot complete the save

Fix 4. Repair Mac Hard Drive to Fix Cannot Open Files on Mac

Hard driver corruption and damaged system files can also be reasons for files not opening on Mac. You can run the First Aid in Disk Utility to repair your disks - if they are in bad condition. Follow the steps here:

Step 1. Navigate to the "Finder > Applications > Utilities" folder and open "Disk Utility".

choose disk utility

Step 2. Tao on "View" from the upper-left and go to "Show All Devices".

show all device

Step 3. Look for your disk from the left panel. Click "First Aid" and choose "Run" when the new window appears.

run first aid

Now, wait patiently for the process to end.

FAQs on Can't Open File on Mac

Here are some frequently asked questions on this file not opening error on Mac:

1. Why is my Mac not letting me open documents?

Suppose you cannot open a document or application on your Mac. You may have disabled the permission setting, or your files are corrupted or damaged.

2. How do I allow Mac to open files?

You can change the file permission to the file or folder you want to open. Follow the steps here:

  • Choose the item
  • Go to "File" > "Get Info," or you can hold Command + I
  • Tap on the arrow next to Sharing & Permissions and set the privilege to your account as "Read & Write".

3. Why can't I open an app file on my Mac?

You likely have no privileges to open this app, or the application may be corrupted due to improper download.


This post from EaseUS looked at four easy ways to fix can't open files on Mac. You can either relaunch the application, change the file permission, or repair your hard drive with First Aid. If your files happen to be damaged, use EaseUS Fixo File Repair as your lifesaver.

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author Finley


Finley is interested in reading and writing articles about technical knowledge. Her articles mainly focus on file repair and data recovery.

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