Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Many users reported unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied error; this error can occur during the debugging of a program. Users reported the unable to start program C++ error while trying to run their programs on Visual Studio C++ 2017 and Visual Studio C++ 2015. If you are among them and looking for a solution, you are at the right place. Read this article to fix unable to start program Visual Studio C++ issue.

Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

How to Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Visual Studio is a programming language compiler. Visual Studio was first developed by Microsoft in 1993 and was one of the first programming language compilers. Microsoft Visual Studio currently compiles for C, C++, and C++/CX programming languages. The Microsoft Visual Studio consists of the tools that help a programmer develop and debug the codes for C++. Users can debug Windows API, DirectX, and .NET.

Microsoft Visual Studio is a crucial tool that helps developers and programmers write code for their projects. The Visual Studio is equipped with a list of advanced tools that provide users with an easy interface to code. Some key features of Microsoft Visual Studio are given below:

  • Squiggles: Squiggles tool provides an alert to the programmer if there is a potential problem in their code. This tool helps a programmer immediately solve the problems in their code.
  • Code Cleanup: Code Cleanup tool provides a programmer with clearing their entire code with the help of a single click.
  • Refactoring: Refactoring tool is one of the key features of Visual Studio; this tool helps the user with various operations such as intelligent renaming of variables and extracting the code to new lines.
  • IntelliSense: IntelliSense is an essential tool of Microsoft Visual Studio; IntelliSense provides all the information about the code directly in the editor.
  • Visual Studio Search: This is one of the most helpful features for a programmer on Visual Studio. The Visual Studio search allows a programmer to provide all the necessary tools in one place in Visual Studio.
  • Live Share: One of the advanced features of Visual Studio, Live Share, provides a programmer to share their codes with other users in real-time. The Visual Studio also allows the programmers to choose the programming language of their choice.
  • Call Hierarchy: When a programmer tries to change a coding method, the Call Hierarchy tool shows how to call a selected method.
  • CodeLens: The CodeLens tool helps you with different features such as code references, code changes, work items, unit tests, linked bugs, and code reviews without needing the programmer to exit the editor.
  • Go To Definition: The Go To Definition tool lets the programmer directly access the function’s location.
  • Peek Definition: The Peek definition is a key feature of Microsoft Visual Studio; this tool shows a programmer the method or a type definition without needing to open a separate file.

Reasons for Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied Error

There can be multiple reasons for the unable to start the program. Visual Studio access is denied error in Visual Studio. Some of the possible reasons for the error are mentioned below:

  • One of the possible reasons for unable to start program Visual Studio C++ problem can be a third-party antivirus. This is because an antivirus may have locked an installation file for Visual Studio.
  • The programmer trying to install the installation files does not have administrative permission to install the file.
  • There might be Registry issues with Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Running the installer from an alternate drive than the drive in which Windows is running.
  • The presence of corrupt system files might also cause this error.
  • Windows Firewall might interfere with the startup of a project.

The following guide will give you the method to fix unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied error.

Users have noticed that while attempting to debug a code using Visual Studio, they have received an access denied message, resulting in failed debugging of the code. This error occurred when a programmer attempted to access one of the installation files, and due to a problem, the requested access was denied by Visual Studios.

Method 1: Move Installer to C: Drive

This issue might occur when you run the installer from an alternate drive than the drive in which Windows is running (usually C: drive). In such a case, you can move the installer file to C: drive.

Local Disk C

Method 2: Set StartUp Project

You might also face this unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied issue if you have incorrectly set start project you want to debug. Follow the below steps to resolve:

1. Right-click on the project you want to debug.

2. Select Set StartUp Projects… as shown.
set as startup project... microsoft visual studio

Also Read: 11 Best IDEs For Node.js Developers

Method 3: Log in as Administrator

A lack of admin rights might also cause this error while attempting to install a file. Follow the below steps to log in as an administrator:

1. Hit the Windows key, type Command Prompt and click on Run as administrator.

Open Command Prompt as administrator

2. Type the given command and press the Enter key to activate admin rights.

net user administrator /active: yes

Enter net user administrator active yes command

3. Close the Command Prompt window and relaunch the VS project.

Note: Type net user administrator /active: no command to disable the admin rights.

Method 4: Repair System Files

There might be issues with the system or installed files, which can be resolved using the in-built tools. Read our guide on How to Repair System Files on Windows 10, and follow the steps as instructed to repair all the corrupt files on your computer.

Run SFC and DISM command lines to repair system files

Wait for the commands to be executed and check if the issue has been resolved.

Also Read: Fix Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Setup Fails Error 0x80240017

Method 5: Restore Registry Keys

You can try to restore registry keys to resolve the Visual Studio error; check out the How to Backup and Restore the Registry on Windows guide to learn more about Windows Registry Keys and how to restore them.

import registry editor

Method 6: Add Exclusion in Windows Firewall

You can add an exclusion in Windows Firewall to resolve unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied problem. Follow the below steps:

1. In the Start menu, type and search for Virus & threat protection. Click on Open.

open Virus and threat protection

2. Click on Manage settings.

Click on Manage Settings. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

3. Click on Add or remove exclusions.

Click on Add or remove exclusions

4. In the Exclusion tab, click on Add an exclusion and select File.

Click on Add or remove exclusions. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

5. Now, navigate to the file directory where you have saved the program and choose the original file.

Wait for the tool to load and check whether you have resolved the issue.

Also Read: 10 Best Programming Languages to Learn Today

Method 7: Add Exclusion in Antivirus Program (If Applicable)

If your antivirus is causing errors in Visual Studio, you can try adding an exclusion in Antivirus Program to resolve this issue.

Note: We have shown the steps for Avast Free Antivirus as an example.

1. Open Avast Antivirus.

2. Click on the Menu option from the top right corner.

Click on the Menu option

3. From the drop-down list, select Settings.

select Settings. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

4. In the General tab, go to Blocked & Allowed apps.

5. Under the List of allowed apps section, click on ALLOW APP.

Under the List of allowed apps and click on ALLOW APP

6. Now, click on ADD, corresponding to the Visual Studio path, to add it to the whitelist.

Note: We have shown App Installer being added as an exclusion below.

click on ADD. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Method 8: Disable Windows Defender Firewall (Not Recommended)

You can also try disabling Windows Defender Firewall to resolve the issue from your computer. Read our How to Disable Windows 10 Firewall guide to disable the Windows Defender firewall on your PC safely.

Disable Firewall

Once the issue has been resolved, ensure to re-enable the Windows Firewall. A device without a security suite is always prone to malware attacks.

Also Read: How to Request Control in Microsoft Teams

Method 9: Disable Antivirus Program (If Applicable)

It is common for Visual Studio errors to occur due to antivirus issues; you may want to disable antivirus programs on your computer. Check out How to Disable Antivirus Temporarily on Windows 10 guide to disable an Antivirus Program on your system.

Disable Antivirus Temporarily

Method 10: Adjust User Account Control Settings

In this method, you can disable all the UAC prompts on the PC. In other words, you will not receive any UAC prompt for any activity on the PC. This allows you to install any installation file without responding to the download restrictions set by the administrator. Follow the below steps to adjust UAC settings and fix unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied error.

1. Press the Windows key and type Control Panel, then click on Open.

open Control Panel. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

2. Set View by as Category, then select the System and Security option in the menu available.

Select the System and Security option

3. Click on Security and Maintenance.

Click on Security and Maintenance. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

4. Then, click on Change User Account Control settings.

Click on Change User Account Control settings

5. Drag the slider to the bottom to the Never notify option and click on OK.

Note: Enter the system password if prompted. This setting will modify the PC and never ask for admin permission until you reset the preference using the selector.

Drag the slider on the screen to the bottom to the Never notify option and click on OK. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Also Read: Fix NVIDIA User Account Locked in Windows 10

Method 11: Switch User Account to Admin Profile

You can resolve this issue by switching your user profile to the admin profile. Follow the below steps:

1. Press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.

2. Type netplwiz and click on OK to open the User Accounts window.

Note: netplwiz is a command line that removes the security password set for the PC.

Type netplwiz and click on OK to open the User Accounts window

3. In the Users tab, select your account.

4. Click on Properties.

Click on Properties. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

5. Go to the Group Membership tab and choose the Administrator to make this an Admin account.

6. Click on Apply > OK.

Go to the Group Membership tab and choose the Administrator to make this an Admin account. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

Also Read: Fix Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper Has Stopped Working

Method 12: Reset Visual Studio Settings

If none of the above methods worked for you, you could reset all the VS settings to default. Follow the below steps to resolve unable to start program Visual Studio C++ problem.

1. Open the Visual Studio program on your PC.

2. Click on Tools in the menu bar.

click on Tools. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

3. Select Import and Export Settings…

select import and export settings in Microsoft visual studio

4. Choose Reset all settings in the Import and Export Settings wizard and click on Next >.

select reset all settings. Fix Unable to Start Program Visual Studio Access is Denied

5. Choose Yes, save my current settings and click on Next >.

Note: you can also choose No, just reset settings, overwriting my current settings.

6. Then, click on Finish.

7. Once the settings are reset, click on Close to close the wizard.

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We hope this guide was helpful and that you were able to fix unable to start program Visual Studio access is denied issue on your computer. Comment down and let us know which method worked for you. If you have questions, queries, or suggestions, feel free to share them with us. Also, let us know what you want to learn next.

Posted by

Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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