Cannot transfer sheet ownership

edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

I am trying to transfer sheet ownership to an existing collaborator who is already an Admin.  This message appears

"This user cannot accept ownership at this time.  Please retain your ownership or select a different user."  

Any ideas why this can't be done?


  • Nicole Tellez
    Nicole Tellez ✭✭✭✭

    It is likely the user is a collaborator and not a licensed user.  Have you confirmed that they actually own a license?


  • I am getting that same message.  I verified the user is "licensed", the sheet is shared with ADMIN permissions.    Any suggestions?

  • I encountered the same issue regarding ownership transfer - I also verified that the intended owner is a licensed user. 

  • Robin Rice
    edited 05/07/18

    I have the same issue.  The new owner is licensed, but the message says that he "cannot accept ownership at this time".

  • Hi Robin et all,

    Try refreshing your entire browser (Ctrl + R) to see if this fixes the issue.

    Otherwise, try signing out of Smartsheet and signing back in.

    If the above doesn't work, contact our Support team to troubleshoot this further.

  • Did not help at all :-(

  • shiran
    shiran ✭✭

    Is there any update on this issue?  I am experiencing the same thing.  I am a licensed user and am trying to transfer sheet ownership to another licensed user.

  • Nicole Tellez
    Nicole Tellez ✭✭✭✭
    edited 03/21/19

    I just learned how to properly do this.  You must give the user that wants to become owner, Admin access to the sheet.  They will find the sheet from their home tab, right click and select "make me the owner".  Once they do that, you will get an email confirming it.  Click accept and they will become owner.  If you want to transfer ownership of a workspace, do the same with ALL items in the workspace, then make them the admin on the workspace.  Once they own all sheets, they will need to click "share" (in upper right corner of workspace), find the owners name in the list and click the "x" next to it when the hover over it.  If they want the current owner to have access to the workspace, they will need to re-add them with whatever sharing rights are appropriate.

  • mattc
    mattc ✭✭✭

    Thanks, Nicole. It would be amazing if the Smartsheet folks would update the ownership transfer instructions to describe how it actually works.

    It's very frustrating to have misinformation in the user guide.

  • Nicole Tellez
    Nicole Tellez ✭✭✭✭

    Agreed.  It was extremely frustrating and then I finally asked someone at Smartsheet who gave me this answer, which actually worked.  It's not easy, especially when there are a lot of items in a Workspace, but it does work. 

  • I had the same issue, but the fault was that I hadn't shared the Workspace with the person I wanted to make the owner of a specific sheet. In my scenario, I first (only) granted Admin rights of a sheet to an individual in my organization that also had a license. Then I tried to make that person the owner of the sheet, but ran into the same message, "This user cannot accept ownership at this time. Please retain your ownership or select a different user." After troubleshooting the issue, the second step turned out that the person needed to be shared with the parent Workspace. Once the Workspace was shared, I successfully granted ownership of the desired sheet to the individual.

    I hope that is useful.