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FIX: Pro Tools “You do not have appropriate access privileges (-5000)”

Oh, yes, you do!

A friend gave me a Pro Tools session on a thumb drive. I copied the entire session folder to my external hard drive and opened it. After changing the routing to work on my system, everything played back fine. Then I tried to clean up the session.

Every time I attempted to cross fade or consolidate an audio or MIDI region, I would get an error like this:

screen shot of a Pro Tools error dialog

“Could not complete your request because You do not have appropriate access privileges (-5000)…” Why do you build me up, Buttercup? Capitalize ‘You,’ then award me negative five thousand points…pssh.

The Fix

Seeing the “access privileges” bit, I figured the problem was probably an operating system issue, not a Pro Tools thing. The session files were indeed set to ‘Read Only,’ which is why I could play back the session, but couldn’t do anything to the regions or fades.

Here’s how to fix the issue.

  1. Close the session. You shouldn’t have your Pro Tools session open while changing its permissions.
  2. Select the session folder in Finder. Make sure the session folder is highlighted, not the files inside the session.
  3. Get Info. Hit Command-I (capital i) or from the Finder menu select File > Get Info. An Info window will pop open.
  4. Change all privileges to ‘Read & Write.’ At the very bottom of the Info window is a box with a list of users and their privileges. They should all be set to ‘Read & Write.’ You may be asked for user password to unlock and verify the change.
    screen shot of Sharing & Permissions file metadata

    Not listed are NSA permissions, which by default are set to ‘Collect All,’ but, like, totally isn’t a violation of your privacy.

  5. Close the Info window. After making the privilege changes, try reopening your Pro Tools session and editing some regions. If you can, this fix worked for you.

Why does this error occur?

Many common problems that Macs develop are related to file permissions errors. Files are given various permissions to maintain privacy between computer users and prevent users from easily messing up the operating system.

Permissions can get wrecked when disks are removed without being ejected and during unexpected shut downs. That’s why it is important always to try to eject disks and shut down your Mac properly.

Permissions can also get messed up during copying and moving of files or while installing software. That appears to be why I experienced this error. During the copying of the files, the permissions were never changed to grant me access. Simple problem, simple fix.

UPDATE 2013-10-30

After encountering this problem on several other sessions, I tried another method and found a better (and probably more proper) solution. Try this in addition to or instead of the above fix:

In the problematic Pro Tools session, pop open the Disk Allocation dialog (Setup > Disk Allocation…).

screenshot of the Setup menubar item in Pro Tools 9

When the dialog window opens, you’ll be presented with a list of all the tracks in your session and the location where that track should be located. If you’re having problems creating fade files and getting the sort of error that brought you to this page, then you’ll probably see something like the picture below.

screenshot of the Disk Allocation dialog window in Pro Tools 9

As you can see, not all of the tracks had their disk allocation pointing to the right place. To fix them, select all of the incorrectly allocated tracks, then click and hold the little up/down arrows on the right hand side. A little window will appear and ask you to select a folder. In my case, the session file was looking on my internal system drive instead of my external audio drive. Choose the correct location of your session files and click OK. That should solve the issue. Let me know if this worked for you.

29 Comments >

29 Comments

  1. 1 Rolf 11:10 am Jan 6, 2014

    Thanks man, that last thing saved my session.

  2. 2 Scott Troyer 11:46 am Jan 6, 2014

    Great! Hope the session went well after that.

  3. 3 AZ 8:14 pm Mar 20, 2014

    Worked great, really appreciate it !

  4. 4 Scott Troyer 12:20 pm Mar 21, 2014

    Thanks, AZ!

  5. 5 Allon Sams 11:51 am Mar 21, 2014

    You can change permissions while the protools session is open. Thanks for all your help again and you are great!

  6. 6 Scott Troyer 12:19 pm Mar 21, 2014

    Thanks for the tip, Allon! That sure makes it easier.

  7. 7 Vir McCoy 2:42 pm Mar 21, 2014

    Thank you the update worked!

  8. 8 Scott Troyer 3:58 pm Mar 21, 2014

    Excellent! Hope it helps your recording sessions!

  9. 9 Sean Nypaver 9:57 am Apr 5, 2014

    Thank you! I was having this exact problem, and the disk allocation was the issue. I never would have thought to look there if not for your instructions.

  10. 10 Scott Troyer 1:12 pm Apr 6, 2014

    Glad it worked for you, Sean!

  11. 11 jonathan catacutan 1:12 am May 20, 2014

    Thanks much Scott! disc allocation was the issue also.now it’s working perfectly

  12. 12 FlEx 5:04 pm May 29, 2014

    Work Great, Thanks Scott!!

  13. 13 Scott Troyer 4:57 pm Jun 1, 2014

    <thumbsup/> 😉

  14. 14 Carlos 3:49 pm Aug 12, 2014

    Hi Scott, Thanks for the tip.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the option to change this setting and it says “you can only read this file” Help please

  15. 15 Scott Troyer 5:31 pm Aug 16, 2014

    Are you trying to change it in the OS or in Pro Tools?

  16. 16 staccz 8:16 pm Aug 13, 2014

    I have zipped files that were sent to me via wetransfer.com. when trying to open it wont open but I was able to get all of the individual wave files. but how do I unzip it and open the actual session in pro tools? it will not let me

  17. 17 Scott Troyer 5:30 pm Aug 16, 2014

    Wish I could help you with that. Hard to say what might be the problem. Have you tried redownloading from retransfer? Perhaps the file was borked in the download process.

  18. 18 George Riley 5:42 pm Jan 18, 2015

    update worked for me, great tip, unsung hero of the DAW world, Thank you.

  19. 19 Nicole 6:50 pm Jan 28, 2015

    Thank u this worked big time!!!!! (The second)

  20. 20 jaybo 10:40 am Jan 31, 2015

    Thanks alot bro that just saved my world

  21. 21 chris hayes 5:20 am Mar 1, 2015

    This helped BUT I am getting this error when trying to create a NEW session and when i go to setup i cannot choose ‘disk allocation’ to tell it where to work from! I am new to protools and finding this very frustrating as i want to get going on a new session!Thanks Chris

  22. 22 Scott Troyer 9:50 pm Mar 1, 2015

    Chris, when you try creating a new session, PT should ask you where you want to create the new session. What disk and what location are you choosing then? And do you have another disk you can try saving to?

  23. 23 Prince Titus 9:39 pm May 14, 2015

    Thanks you much for this, it really help to solved my problems…

  24. 24 Darin 3:25 pm May 29, 2015

    Disk allocation – You just saved me a whole two days worth of work!!! thank you!!

  25. 25 Scott Troyer 5:24 pm May 29, 2015

    Good news, Darin, I’ll only charge you for 1 day of work.

  26. 26 Bob Chelmick 5:02 pm Dec 1, 2015

    Many thanks. The first suggestion worked like a charm.

  27. 27 Alex 11:56 am Dec 4, 2015

    Tried changing permissions on the session folder, all drives/folders above & below it in the chain, all say “read & write” & all of the folders in Disk Allocation are sending to the write place. But for some strange reason, a session I’ve already put a ton of work into won’t allow me to write a new file.

  28. 28 Scott Troyer 2:53 pm Dec 4, 2015

    Alex, if none of that worked for you, you could try creating a new session from that session. Try the “Save Copy In” function. Here’s a video that demonstrates it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QPuPNNaAvY

  29. 29 Tyler Merkaba 3:02 am Dec 11, 2015

    Thank you Scott, the second option was a huge help!

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