Fatal Error in Google Adwords Editor v.11.1.2
Fatal Error OperationAccessDenied

A fatal error happens when Google Adwords Editor v.11.1.2 tries to post changes that don’t yet exist on the account. If you do that, Google Adwords Editor shows the message:

Fatal Error in Google Adwords Editor Bug

Fatal Error in Google Adwords Editor Bug

  • Fatal Error OperationAccessDenied

Adwords Editor tries to look for “non-existent” changes, can’t find them, so it shows an error message. You can’t post the edited campaign or any more changes. You’re blocked.

On August 10, 2015, Google was not aware of the bug. I talked with an Adwords Editor support person that day who insisted it was working.

There are three solutions:

Solution 1: Copy and Post (Quick and Easy)

  1. In Google Adwords Editor, copy the campaign (for example, Campaign-01)
  2. Paste the campaign as a new campaign (for example, Campaign-02)
  3. Rename the old campaign (for example, Campaign-del)
  4. Pause the old campaign
  5. Post the new campaign
  6. You can’t remove (delete) the old campaign, so leave it on pause

If this is a new campaign, then it’s easy to copy it.

However, if this is an existing active campaign with lots of data history (impressions, clicks, etc.), you will lose all of that history when you copy it.

Solution 2: Undo, Pause, Upload, Delete

  1. Select the deleted items
  2. Click “revert”
  3. Change the items to Pause
  4. Post the campaign

This undoes the changes. Post the campaign and then you can delete the items.

Solution 3: Export, Remove, Import

  1. Log into Google Adwords Editor
  2. Go to Account | Export | Export Selected Campaigns
  3. Export the campaigns in which you made changes. Save these to your computer.
  4. Delete your account from Google AdWords Editor
  5. Re-add your account to Google AdWords Editor
  6. Go to Get Recent Changes | More Data and download the account data
  7. Go to Account | Import | From File and import your file
  8. Post to your account

Be sure to first save your changes before you remove the account, otherwise, you’ll lose your changes.

Update: Reply from Google, August 20, 2015

(Google Adwords Support sent me the following. – andreas)

I (Google Adwords Support) had a chance to dive in with our technical teams who have explained to me this is not a technical issue, but that using the guide below you will help you accomplish your goals.

Due to recent changes, deleted campaigns and ad groups can no longer be re-activated, meaning their status cannot change from “Removed” to “Paused” or “Active”. No edits are allowed to such campaigns and ad groups, nor to any of their components (ads, keywords, sitelinks, etc.). These components are effectively disabled and therefore and cannot be edited in any way; they will not run and there is no need to attempt edits to them. Additional information can be found in this help center article.

In AdWords Editor, any attempt to post changes to any removed campaign or ad group, or its components, will result in the fatal error, “OPERATION NOT PERMITTED FOR REMOVED ENTITY. Fatal errors halt the posting process thus all changes, even to active campaigns or ad groups, will not post to the account.

Before attempting to resolve the issue, ensure that you are using the most up-to-date version of AdWords Editor (v. 11.1.2).

To resolve this issue, first all changes posted in AdWords Editor must be to active or paused campaigns and ad groups only. If you have unposted changes in active or paused campaigns/ad groups that you would like to preserve, please complete all steps below. If you do not need or want to preserve unposted changes in active campaigns or ad groups, you may skip steps 2 and 3.

    1. Access your AdWords Editor preferences to ensure that you are not downloading removed campaigns. To do this, select “Preferences” > “Download and display” and uncheck the box next to “Download removed campaigns and ad groups.” Save changes by clicking “OK.”
    2. Select “Get Recent Changes” > “More data (slower)” > “Campaigns I select” and manually uncheck all removed campaigns. This preserves unposted changes in remaining campaigns.
    3. Check and post changes to active campaigns. If you encounter the fatal error message again, it is likely that you are attempting a change to a removed ad group or its components that is within an active campaign. To resolve, move ahead to step four which will delete any unposted changes.
    4. Delete your account from AdWords Editor and redownload your account. Only active and paused campaigns/ad groups should appear in your account. Note: this step will delete any unposted changes to your account in AdWords Editor.

If you continue to experience the fatal error message while attempting to post changes, verify that you are not attempting to post changes to any removed campaigns, ad groups, or their components by cross referencing your account in AdWords Editor with your account on the AdWords website.

My Summary

Google knows this is a bug. They’re basically saying, if you press the key, it crashes, so don’t press the key. Which means they don’t know how to fix it.