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Solved: How do I fix Microsoft Visual Studio unable to start program due to access is denied?

Problem Symptom

While debugging a program using Microsoft Visual Studio 2019 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 on Windows 11, Windows 10, an error prompt to inform unable to start program due to access denied. This article outlines the troubleshooting steps to fix this error.

The detailed error message is as below:

Unable to start program.
Access is denied.

Solved: How do I fix Microsoft Visual Studio unable to start program due to access is denied?

Follow the below solution steps to resolve unable to start program due to access is denied issue.

Content Summary

Solution 1: Login Windows using the Administrator account
Solution 2: Run Microsoft Visual Studio as administrator
Solution 3: Choose the correct file to compile after switching project
Solution 4: Run installer from another disk drive
Solution 5: Disable third-party firewall and antivirus software
Solution 6: Reset Microsoft Visual Studio

Solution 1: Login Windows using the Administrator account

You might need to use the administrator account to run a project in Microsoft Visual Studio in order to fix this error.

If you are using the standard user account right now, you can try to log out from the current user account and log in to Windows again using the administrator account.

Solution 2: Run Microsoft Visual Studio as administrator

Run as administrator option

To run Visual Studio as administrator in Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can use the Start Menu. That said, click on the Start Menu and search for visual studio. Once you see the search result, make sure that the Visual Studio is selected. If so, click on the Run as administrator option and click the Yes button in the UAC prompt.

Step 1: Click on the Windows Start menu button.

Step 2: Type Visual Studio in the search box.

Step 3: Right-click on the Visual Studio application that shows in the search results.

Step 4: Select the Run as administrator option from the context menu.

Type Visual Studio in the search box. Right-click on the Visual Studio application that shows in the search results. Select the Run as administrator option from the context menu.

Step 5: Click on the Yes button in the UAC prompt.

Run as administrator option in Advanced Properties

Step 1: Start the Microsoft Visual Studio program.

Step 2: Right-click on the Visual Studio icon in the Taskbar at the bottom of your screen.

Step 3: Right-click on the application name such as Visual Studio 2017.

Step 4: Select the Properties option from the context menu.

Right-click on the application name such as Visual Studio 2017. Select the Properties option from the context menu.

Step 5: Click on the Advanced button under the Shortcut tab.

Click on the Advanced button under the Shortcut tab.

Step 6: Check the Run as administrator checkbox with the description stating: This option allows you to run this shortcut as an administrator, while protecting your computer form unauthorized activity.

Check the Run as administrator checkbox with the description stating: This option allows you to run this shortcut as an administrator, while protecting your computer form unauthorized activity.

Step 7: Click the Ok button to close the window and apply the changes.

Verify Microsoft Visual Studio running as administrator

Start the Microsoft Visual Studio program. If Microsoft Visual Studio is running as an administrator, the text Adminstrator will appear in the caption.

Start the Microsoft Visual Studio program. If Microsoft Visual Studio is running as an administrator, the text Adminstrator will appear in the caption.

Solution 3: Choose the correct file to compile after switching project

When you are working on another project previously and later switched to a different project, you will encounter similar errors while performing debugging in Microsoft Visual Studio if you forget to choose the correct project file to compile.

We highly recommended verifying the correct project file before trying again.

Solution 4: Run installer from another disk drive

If you have installed Microsoft Visual Studio on another drive instead of the system drive or C drive, you may need to run the installer from that drive only.

Solution 5: Disable third-party firewall and antivirus software

If you have installed a third-party firewall or antivirus program on Windows, try to disable the firewall and antivirus program temporarily to check if that resolves the issue or not.

If yes, you can try to reset those programs and check again. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you need to uninstall those third-party firewall and antivirus software in order to use Microsoft Visual Studio without errors.

Solution 6: Reset Microsoft Visual Studio

Perform the following steps to reset Microsoft Visual Studio in Windows 11 or Windows 10:

Step 1: Start the Microsoft Visual Studio program.

Step 2: Click on the Tools menu.

Step 3: Choose the Import and Export Settings option.

Step 4: Select the Reset all settings option.

Choose the Import and Export Settings option. Select the Reset all settings option.

Step 5: Click on the Next button.

Step 6: Select the Yes, save my current settings option to save the existing settings, or select the No, just reset settings option to reset everything.

Step 7: Click on the Next button.

Step 8: Click on the Finish button.

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