Fixing R Errors – error in file(con, “r”) : cannot open the connection

Dealing with files can often result in error messages. Unfortunately, they can be among the hardest for which to track down the actual cause. The “error in file(con, “r”) : cannot open the connection” error message is an example of this problem. This error message always involves a problem opening a file but not necessarily the same one. This is the type of error that is hard to diagnose and fix.

The circumstances of this error.

This error message occurs when trying to access a file in the program cannot access it. It is not limited to one function but seems to be a general error resulting from a problem accessing a data file. Because this error can occur with different functions and file types, it is hard to understand and correct. What makes matters worse is that the wording of the error message is not helpful, it does not give any clue as to what is going on. Unfortunately, the circumstances of this error message make finding and correcting the problem difficult.

What is causing this error?

The ultimate cause of this error is the inability of the program to access a file. However, there seem to be two main reasons that trigger this error.

The first reason is a problem with the file path. This would be a case where the directory is off in some fashion making impossible for the program to access the file.

The second reason is that the R compiler does not have permission from your computer to access the file. This may not make sense at first, but there are reasons why this may be the case. One such reason would be trying to access the file from a user profile other than the one you are currently using. Another reason would be that you are trying to access a file from a critical part of your system.

How to fix this error.

Unfortunately, fixing this problem is not easy. This is because the reasons for it are complex and can result from several different causes. However, are some actions that you can take that might work.

One possibility is to use the setwd() function so that the director of your file is in the working directory. This way, you do not have the problem of using a complicated file path correct in the file access formula.

The second possibility would be to use the complete file path and name, starting with the drive letter.

The final recommended solution would be to open RStudio as an administrator in Windows. While this is likely to fix the problem, it also has its risks because you could damage your system if you are not careful. But if you are careful, it should solve your problem without making others.