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TechNote #177: Last modified: 12/15/2017

"User does not have access privileges" error in Word
"Something went wrong..." error in PowerPoint

The information in this document applies to:


  • MathType 6.x (Windows)


  • Microsoft Office 2007 and later (Windows)


  1. You have created a Word document with several MathType equations. The equations look great, and they used to open up when double-clicked. Now, when you double-click a MathType equation, a Microsoft Word error message appears stating, "Word cannot open the document: user does not have access privileges."
  2. Similarly, if you double-click an existing equation in a PowerPoint presentation, you'll get an error message stating, "We're sorry, something went wrong that might make PowerPoint unstable. Please save your presentation and restart PowerPoint."

You can insert new MathType equations into Word, but the error happens whenever you try to open an existing equation. You cannot insert new equations into PowerPoint. Nothing seems to help pass the error, and you cannot work on existing equations.


McAfee WebAdvisor, a free tool McAfee offers for web protection (and also available as part of their subscription product Total Protection), causes this error.


McAfee has already corrected this bug. If you're using WebAdvisor version or later, you should not see this issue. Please write and let us know if you still see the issue after updating WebAdvisor.

We've outlined the steps below for updating WebAdvisor, but the first step is to uninstall your current version of WebAdvisor. This video shows both the error, and the process to uninstall WebAdvisor.

Removing WebAdvisor

  1. If you're using the latest version of Windows 10, open Apps and Features. If you're using an earlier version of Windows, including pre-Creators Update versions of Windows 10, it's Programs and Features. The easiest way to get there is to right-click the Windows logo in the lower left of your screen on any version of Windows 10, or if you're using a different version of Windows, go to Control Panel, then Programs and Features.
  2. In Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703), scroll through the Apps and Features list until you find McAfee Web Advisor. Click it, then click Uninstall. Click Uninstall again to the pop-up. Go to step 5 below.
  3. In Windows 10 versions earlier than version 1703 Creators Update, find McAfee Web Advisor in the Programs and Features listing. Double-click it, and wait for the McAfee pop-up. Go to step 5 below.
  4. In Windows XP through Windows 8.1, open Control Panel from the Windows Start Menu, then open Programs and Features. Find McAfee Web Advisor in the Programs and Features listing. Click to select it, then click the Uninstall/Change link in the Programs and Features dialog. When the McAfee pop-up appears, proceed with the next step…
  5. All versions of Windows: If a User Account Control screen asks if you "want to allow this app to make changes to your device", click Yes. When the McAfee WebAdvisor pop-up appears, you'll have 2 choices: "Keep web protection" or "No thanks, just uninstall it". Click "No thanks" to proceed.
  6. When the screen appears to let you know WebAdvisor's been uninstalled, dismiss it and restart Word/PowerPoint. It's actually necessary to reboot to finish up the WebAdvisor removal, but if it's not convenient to do that now, you can keep working and reboot when it's convenient.
  7. MathType will work normally now in Word & PowerPoint.

Getting the latest version of WebAdvisor

  1. Go to and click the download button.
  2. Save the file to you computer.
  3. The file will be named saSetup.exe. Verify it's the correct version. There are several ways to do that, so if you know a different way that's OK. The easiest way is probably to right-click the file wherever you have saved it on your computer. From the pop-up menu, click Properties (at the very bottom). Click the Details tab. You will see the version number there, something like this:
    Checking the WebAdvisor version number
  4. If it's version or later, the issue is fixed, so you should be able to proceed with your math documents.

Additional information

There are several things we know about this error, but one thing we know is that the error affects all inserted "objects" in Word & PowerPoint. It is not limited to MathType equations. For example, if you have an embedded Excel chart in your Word document, if you double-click to edit it, you will get the same error as double-clicking a MathType equation. Still, updating to the latest version of WebAdvisor should clear it up.

We hope this has been helpful. As always, please let us know if you have questions about this, or if you have additional techniques that work. We'd love to hear from you.

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