How to Repair “This Modification is Not Allowed Because the Selection is Locked”

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If you receive a message at the bottom of Word 2007, Word 2010 or other Office suite products when you try to modify the document entitled “This Modification is Not Allowed Because the Selection is Locked”, this article should answer your “Why” question and tell you how to make your document editable again.

You cannot insert it into the document either with this Microsoft Office error. If you move the mouse over the Insert button on the Start tab, you will see this error message: “This command is currently disabled. This command is not available because the document is marked as final”.

If this is the case for all documents, then either you have not activated the software or you have an expired evaluation version. Click on Help, go to Activate the product.

If this happens with a single document, click on Tools, go to Unprotect Document.

Updating or deactivating Synergy (if necessary)

It turns out that Synergy can also be responsible for one of these two error message variants. This behavior is part of a well-known Synergy bug that effectively disables the drag and drop selection option in any Microsoft Office application.

Since the release of v1.8.2-stable, Synergy developers have updated this bug. So, if you still encounter this error message and Synergy is installed, start your troubleshooting guide by updating Synergy with the latest version available.

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However, if upgrading to the latest version is out of the question for you, other users have managed to get around this problem by pressing the Win button just before trying to make a selection in a Microsoft Office program.

Another way to get around this problem is either to disable the software using an Office application or to uninstall it completely.

If this method did not apply to your particular scenario, proceed to the next method below.

Office has not yet been activated

If you see the problem in both Word and Excel, the problem is obviously desktop-wide. When you are connected to the Internet, click on the Office button in the upper left corner and select Word Options at the bottom of the menu.

In the new window on the left, select Resources, then click the Activate button. This should either enable Word, i.e. it is already enabled (i.e. it is not the cause of your problems), or provide more information on why it is not enabled and cannot be enabled.

Stop file protection

If the file is still not accessible after the above method has been executed, it can be protected. You can easily remove editing restrictions in Word 2013 by following these steps.

  • Go to the Review tab, then click Restrict Modification, then select Restrict Formatting and Modification.
  • You will see a small window next to the document. If you see a Stop Protect button, click it. If there is a Start Protect button, simply close the window to unlock the locked selection in Word 2013.

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