How to fix "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac"

If you use Microsoft Office 365, you may have come across the error: "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac." It's annoying and frustrating because it means you can't work on documents even if your subscription should allow you to do that. Here's how to fix it.

What causes the "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac" message?

There are two possible reasons for the error:

  1. Microsoft doesn't recognize your Office 365 license.
  2. There are corrupt files in your Mac's Library folder.

With regard to number 2 above, Microsoft has identified three files that may cause a problem and recommends removing those. We'll show you how to do that below.


If you're having problems with Office 365 and they're not solved by the steps here, you can try resetting the app so that it returns to the state it was in when it was first installed. The easiest way to do that is to use CleanMyMac X. It has an Uninstaller that can also reset apps instead of completely uninstalling them. At the end of this article, we'll explain how to reset your MS Office with CleanMyMac X.

How to fix "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac"

Verify Office 365 license

  1. In a web browser, navigate to
  2. Click on My Account.
  3. Look at the Subscriptions panel.
  4. Check for Office 365.
  5. If you see it, you have the correct license, and that's not the problem. If you don't see it, check that you are signed into the correct account.

If that doesn't solve the problem, the next step is to remove those files we mentioned earlier.

  1. Open each Office app installed on your Mac, click on the application name (e.g., Word) menu and choose Sign Out. Then quit the application.
  2. In the Finder, click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
  3. In the box, type ~/Library
  4. Click on the Group Containers folder.
  5. Locate the following three files/folders and drag them to the Trash:
  6. Empty the Trash and open an Office application to check if you can now edit documents.

    One more solution: Repair Disk Permissions

    The "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac" warning in Office 365 can be caused by broken or outdated permissions. You can try and fix it with a free tool in CleanMyMac X.

    Download a free edition of this app (Apple-notarized version).

    • Run the app and click Maintenance.
    • Now, select Repair Disk Permissions.
    Repair disk permissions in Maintenance module CMMX

    Additionally, check the System Junk section in the sidebar. Cleaning system junk rids your system of caches and other temporary items that could interfere with your MS Office. 

    Over time, these files grow and, as well as taking up space on your drive, can slow your Mac down and cause it to run into problems. CleanMyMac X's System Junk module can identify and remove these files with a couple of clicks.

    How to reset MS Office to the default state

    Another solution that may fix your account settings is to reset the app itself. Normally, apps like MS Office Suite don't have a reset function. But using CleanMyMac X, you can erase some temporary preferences and settings, i.e., reset them without losing any valuable data.

    1. Open CleanMyMac X (a link to download its free version).
    2. Click on the Uninstaller tab.
    3. Find Office 365 in the list.
    4. In the dropdown menu under Uninstall, choose Reset.
    5. Click the big button below — and that's it.

    Relaunch the app and see if you can edit files now.

    The "Your account doesn't allow editing on a Mac" warning in Office 365 can be caused by a licensing issue or by files Microsoft puts on your Mac becoming corrupt. To fix it, follow the steps above, and you should be able to edit files in Office apps once more.

    Laptop with CleanMyMac
    CleanMyMac X

    Your Mac. As good as new.