Cannot Save Model in TensorFlow: PERMISSION_DENIED

What Will You Learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to troubleshoot and resolve the “PERMISSION_DENIED” error that occurs when attempting to save a model in TensorFlow. By understanding the root cause of this issue and implementing appropriate solutions, you can ensure smooth model saving operations without encountering permission errors.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Encountering a “PERMISSION_DENIED” error while trying to save a model in TensorFlow indicates a lack of necessary permissions to write files to the specified directory. To overcome this obstacle, it is essential to have the required write permissions for the target location where you intend to save your TensorFlow model.

One effective solution involves specifying a directory with adequate write permissions or granting yourself permission for the current directory. By taking these steps, you can ensure seamless saving of your TensorFlow models without facing permission-related hindrances.


import tensorflow as tf

# Define your model
model = tf.keras.Sequential([
    tf.keras.layers.Dense(64, activation='relu'),

# Compile the model

# Specify path where you want to save your model
path_to_save_model = 'path/to/save/model'

    # Attempting to save the model weights and architecture at 'path_to_save_model'
except PermissionError:
    print("Permission Denied: Unable to save the model. Please check your write permissions.")

# Copyright PHD



To effectively address file permission issues when saving a TensorFlow model, consider the following key points:

  • Check Permissions: Verify that you have appropriate write permissions for the target directory.
  • Specify Correct Path: Ensure that you provide a valid path with correct syntax.
  • Exception Handling: Implement try-except blocks to gracefully manage permission errors.
  • Alternative Paths: Explore saving models in directories where you possess sufficient access rights.
    How can I check my current directory’s permissions?

    You can check permissions using terminal commands like ls -l on Unix-based systems or by inspecting properties through right-click on Windows.

    Why am I getting a “PERMISSION_DENIED” error specifically during saving of models?

    This error arises as TensorFlow attempts file writes during saving operations, necessitating appropriate file system permissions.

    Can I change permission settings within Python code itself?

    No, altering system-level file access requires administrative privileges outside of Python runtime.

    Is there an alternative method if I cannot change folder permissions?

    Consider utilizing cloud storage or network locations with suitable access rights for storing models securely.

    How do I grant myself permission for a specific folder in Windows?

    To grant yourself permission in Windows, right-click on the folder > Properties > Security Tab > Edit Permissions. Add yourself with full control if needed.


    Maintaining proper file system permissions is critical when dealing with operations involving read/write capabilities such as saving machine learning models in frameworks like TensorFlow. By grasping why permission errors occur and mastering effective resolution strategies through correct handling techniques, you can streamline your workflow and prevent disruptions related to file writing operations within Python scripts.

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