Top 5 Fixes if Google Docs is Not Working or Opening on Windows 11

Asking the original owner of the document for permission is the easiest way to resolve this problem


Google Docs is a prevalent word-processing application that allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on documents in real-time. It also offers other exciting features, such as integrating AI writing tools into your Documents. However, even with these amazing features, many users still complain that Google Docs is not working or opening on Windows 11.

Some of the reasons you might have this problem include the removal of the right to open the file, not having gotten permission to view the file from the owner, or having a weak or unstable internet connection.

If you are among the users facing this problem, this guide will walk you through various ways to overcome this challenge and get your Google Docs working smoothly. If this sounds good to you, stay with us to the end.

Before heading straight to our more comprehensive guides, we recommend checking out the quick fixes listed below.

  • The first thing you should do when trying to resolve this error is to verify that your internet connection is strong because a weak or unstable connection will often cause this error.
  • If the step above does not fix the problem, switch to a different browser. Sometimes, this problem might come up because of some issues with your web browser. In this case, you can switch to a different browser and see if it works.

If the steps above do not work, go ahead with our more comprehensive solutions below.

1. Ask for permission to access the document

One of the best solutions to Google Docs not opening or functioning on Windows 11 is to request permission to access the document. A Google Docs file may not open or may display an error message stating, You need permission to access this document if you do not have the required permission. To request permission for a document, follow the steps below.

  1. Go into your Google Drive and open the required document.
  2. On the You need permission page, click on the Request access button.
    Google Docs not working or opening on Windows 11
  3. Once you click the button, the original owner of the document will receive an email asking for approval.
  4. Once your request is approved, you will get an email, then you will be able to open the document.

2. Use a different Google account

When Google Docs won’t open or function on Windows 11, trying a different Google account can help fix the issue by removing the chance that it’s a problem with your particular Google account. The steps below will show you how to switch to a different Google account.

  1. Open the required document.
  2. On the You need permission page, click on the Switch accounts.
    Google Docs not working or opening on Windows 11
  3. Next, sign in with your other Gmail Account.
  4. Finally, open the document and see if it is accessible.

3. Remove your browser’s cache and cookies

Your browser caches temporary versions of files, including scripts, pictures, and CSS stylesheets, when you visit a website. This helps to speed up their loading times when you revisit these websites. The cookies and cache may go out-of-date or corrupted over time.

This may result in issues with Google Docs and other websites. Errors can be fixed and Google Docs performance can be enhanced by clearing the cache and cookies. Follow the steps below to learn how to do this.

  1. Launch your browser, and click the three dots at the top right corner of your screen.
  2. In the drop-down menu, hover your mouse on the More tools option and choose Clear browsing data.
    Google Docs not working or opening on Windows 11
  3. Change the Time range option to All time, click the check boxes next to Browsing historyCookies and other site data and Cached images and files, then hit the Clear data button.
  4. After doing this, check the Google Docs to see if you can access it.

4. Update your operating system

Another reason why you might be having this issue is because your system is outdated. In this case, we recommend updating your device. Security patches and bug fixes that can resolve problems preventing Google Docs from functioning properly are frequently included in operating system updates.

  1. Open Settings by holding Windows + I simultaneously.
  2. Click on the Windows Update tab on the left side, then select the Check for updates button on the right.
    Google Docs not working or opening on Windows 11
  3. If any update is available, download and install them.

5. Disable extensions

Browser extensions may cause issues with Google Docs and prevent you from opening a document. If this is the case, follow the steps below to disable the problematic extensions and see if the issue has been resolved.

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three dots at the top right corner.
  2. Next, hover your mouse on the Extensions option, and select Manage Extensions.
  3. Once you are on the Extensions page, click on the toggle next to a suspicious extension to disable it, or click on the Remove button to permanently delete it.
    Google Docs not working or opening on Windows 11
  4. If you are using the Microsoft Edge browser, open the browser and enter edge://extensions/ in the address bar.
  5. Once you are on the Extensions page, disable or permanently remove the extensions.

Wrapping things up

If you carefully follow the steps outlined in this article, you can confidently troubleshoot your system when Google Docs is not working or opening on your Windows 11 device. Reach out to us via the comment section if you have further questions.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.