This modification is not allowed error in MS Office [SOLVED]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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While editing a Microsoft Office document, you may encounter a warning message stating that the selection is locked. The full error message reads, “This modification is not allowed because the selection is locked”.

This is a common error and occurs if your Office app is not activated, if you have multiple instances of Office installed or if the file is being edited by someone else as reported by the users in the Microsoft community.

If you are also troubled this error, here are a couple of troubleshooting tips to fix This Modification is Not Allowed Because the Selection is Locked error in Windows.

How can I fix This modification is not allowed error in MS Office?

1. Check Office activation

this Modification not allowed because selection locked

  1. To fix the error, make sure your Office version if activated.
  2. To activate the office, launch any Microsoft Office app.
  3. Click on File and select Account.
  4. You will see the activation message if the app is not activated. Enter the product key to activate the Office app.

What to do if Microsoft Office Activation Wizard won’t work

2. Check for multiple instances of Office

  1. If you have multiple versions of the Microsoft Office installed, uninstall the older version. Most of the time, you have a trial version of Office Installed, which needs to be uninstalled to fix the error.
  2. Press “Windows Key + R” to open Run.
  3. Type control and click OK.
    this Modification not allowed because selection locked
  4. From the Control Panel, go to Program > Programs and Features.
  5. Select the trial version of Microsoft Office and select Uninstall.
  6. Try editing the file again and check for any improvements.

If the issue persists, check if another user is editing the file you are trying to edit. Try making a copy of the file and make necessary edits.

3. Change file attributes

  1. Users have reported that changing the file attributes has resolved the issue.
  2. Close the Microsoft Office and the file.
  3. Navigate to the location where the file is stored.
  4. Right-click on the file and select “Properties”.
  5. Click the Advanced button.
    Microsoft Office document locked error
  6. Uncheck “File is ready for archiving” and “Allow this file to have contents indexed in addition to file properties” option.
    Microsoft Office document locked error
  7. Click OK to save the changes.
  8. Click Apply and OK again.
  9. Close the properties window, and check if the error “This modification is not allowed” is resolved.

4. Remove file restriction

  1. Microsoft Office users can apply restrictions on the file to prevent editing. Check if your file also has any restriction and remove it if found.
  2. Open the Microsoft file with the error.
  3. Click on the Review tab.
    Microsoft Office document locked error
  4. Click on the “Restrict Editing” option.
    This modification is not allowed
  5. Uncheck “Allow only this type of editing in the document” and “Limit formatting to a selection of style” option.
  6. Now try to edit the file again and check for any improvements.

5. Remove grouping

Microsoft Office document locked error

  1. If the group content control has been applied to part of your document, ungrouping the file will resolve the issue.
  2. Open the file with the error.
  3. Click on the Developer tab.
  4. Click on Group and select Ungroup.


That’s it. Follow all the steps in this article to fix this modification not allowed because selection locked error in Microsoft Office. Do let us know which fixed worked for you in the comments.


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