How to Take Ownership & Grant Permissions to Access Files & Folder in Windows 7

Windows 7 Take Ownership

If you are windows vista user then you will be knowing the file ownership and permissions related issues and now it is extended to windows 7 too, but Windows XP users experimenting with Windows 7 might not know about this.

Windows 7 has implemented addition security mechanism to prevent accidental or intentional file or folder modification by not allowing users other then owner of file or folder to access it. Hence incase if you need to access, modify or delete such files or folder you need to take ownership first then assign rights or permission to respective users. Here is Guide on How to take Ownership and Grant Permission in Window 7.

How to Take Ownership in Windows 7

1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer

2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu

3. Click on Security tab

Windows 7 Files and Folder Security Tab

4. Click on “Advance”

5. Now click on Owner tab in Advance Security Settings for User windows

Owner Tab of Advance Security Settings

6. Click on Edit Button and select user from given Change Owner to list if user or group is not in given list then click on other users or groups. Enter name of user/group and click ok.

Other Users or Groups

8. Now select User/group and click apply and ok. (Check “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” if you have files and folder within selected folder)

9. Click ok when Windows Security Prompt is displayed

Window Security Prompt

10. Now Owner name must have changed.

11. Now click Ok to exist from Properties windows

RELATED:  Socket Programming in C++ Windows

Once you have taken the ownership of file or folder next part comes is Granting Permissions to that file/folder or object.

How to Grant Permissions in Windows 7

1. Locate the file or folder on which you want to take ownership in windows explorer

2. Right click on file or folder and select “Properties” from Context Menu

3. Click on Edit button in Properties windows Click ok to confirm UAC elevation request.

4. Select user/group from permission windows or click add to add other user or group.

5. Now under Permission section check the rights which you want to grant i.e check “Full Control” under the “Allow” column to assign full access rights control permissions to Administrators group.

Change Permissions

6. Click Ok for changes to take effect and click ok final ok to exit from Properties window.

Now you can access files of folder in windows 7 with full permissions and take full control. Here is another simplest method to take ownership, Method to Add Take ownership Option in Right Click Menu.



Share this post

108 thoughts on “How to Take Ownership & Grant Permissions to Access Files & Folder in Windows 7”

  1. That’s the simple way. Windows 7 has a severe bad block in which your instructions do not work. I cannot move files and directories nor rename them nor copy or move them. I cannot apply your tip because Windows 7 refuses to permit me…all while in admin account. I just tried disabling the UAC completely to see if that helps, otherwise its a Win 7 bug in my book. Too much security is not a good idea…not to the point people cannot enjoy computing.

  2. I can’t count the number of times I have had to re-take ownership of folders on my system. It just won’t stick. These are folders that meant to be written to- like AppData/Local/Temp and My Documents, My Music, Desktop etc. It’s causing havoc.

    I really like Windows 7 and I enjoy problem solving and beta testing, but this is a serious bug. I’m using the MS official beta 7000. I started with a clean install but recently did an upgrade-style reinstall to try to solve this. The problem recurred

    My user account is a member of Administrator group. I have added take ownership to the R click context menu because I have to reclaim ownership of some folder several times daily. Take ownership works but something somewhere is countermanding it. Any suggestions?

  3. I am beginning to regret ever having taken on the windows 7 beta. I am coldfusion web developer and I need to be able make changes to the files in my wwwroot directory. I came across this post yesterday and followed the advice, and it worked. Yesterday. Now, today, I have to do it all over again. But this time, something isn’t going right. I’m thinking of getting my XP OS out of the closet so that I can get back to making web pages, and not having to worry about all this garbage.

  4. I was having a similar difficulty after having restored files from a backup on a vista install to a windows 7. The trick I found was to go to the root folder in which your locked folders reside, do the above procedure, as well as adding yourself as an auditor in the auditing tab and applying these settings to all recursive folders. Hope it helps.

  5. Hi all,

    The first of all I’m experienced user of windows based systems and Linux too.

    I have had a similar unsolvable problem with a permissions to the folders/executable files stored on another partition than system (on d:\) in windows 7. After a (clean) new installation windows 7 RC 64bit ENG (code 7100.0.090421) to c:\ I tried to grant a permission to folders/executable files on d:\ makes before in windows XP 32 bit as administrator.

    I used the same setup correctly typed here:

    1. login user as administrator with administrator’s rights
    2. Take Ownership as Administrators (administrators group)
    3. Assign full access rights control permissions to Administrators group.
    4. restart PC and check ownership and permissions of folder/exec. file as administrators group.

    But after that windows 7 were not able to access to the folder at all (“You don’t currently have permission to access this folder”). I tried to find out any solution via google or windows forum but without any successes.

    Actually I reinstall windows 7 again and I had a new problem. Some executable files downloaded and stored on d:\ on the previous installation of windows 7 (mostly marked in different color because archive), I was not able to open/execute. Windows typed me “You don’t have permission to open this file” or some times more simple “access denied”.

    It was suprise, because on the second installation of windows 7 I have had the same user rights (and ownership and accesses rights too) as the first installation windows 7. I tried to open this files on windows XP, but when I execute the files it typed “file is broken”.

    I think that problem was in certificate of windows 7 used during storing files on NTFS saved in operational memory. Because between the 1st installation and the 2nd installation of windows 7 was PC only rebooted (no shut down).

    When I copy my image of partition of windows XP to disc C:\ and shut down PC and reboot, I successfully execute most downloaded files on the 1st installation of windows 7 :-)

    Windows 7 RC 64 bit (code 7100.0.090421) have a big problem with grant access to control folders/files. When the files has stored you would not be able to open them in other windows system (with the same ownership and accesses, indeed).

    I returned to my windows XP / Ubuntu and waiting if Microsoft release patch for this. If not, many people will have similar problems like me/you.

    mailto: [email protected]

  6. This is ridiculous I take owner ship under my account and used that reg tool and it says I need ownership from the account Im logged into to delete files/folders… wtf?!??! how can i ask myself for permission

  7. this is a serious problem. most irritating and reducing to zero the pleasure i have in using windows 7. Microsoft do something and save us from this ridiculous situation!

  8. Windows7 is looking poor. I want to assign sesecurityprivilege to a user account – I’ve tried group policy editor and local policy editor, but the settings do not take effect.


  9. This whole idea of security to prevent change, moving a file so on and so forth is making life very hard for ordinary users some of whom are even afraid of the mouse or even to click a button. And I am not even talking about novicea at computers.

    Look if the idea is to prevent unauthorised access or hacking, then such default security rules are futile because someone who is intent on doing so can find all kind of ways to do it what with all the tricks they can find over the Internet, no matter how cleverly you try to prevent it. The easiest way is to take out the harddisk itself and read all the information as an external disk can’t you understand this simple trick.

    Now look, just give users a simple system and let IT administrator or anyone in charge decide whether they want to implement certain security on file, folders, whatever – based on the documentation that comes with the OS.

    It is their responsibility and their choice. Don’t impose it on every users of an OS by default.

    There are simply too many situations that do not require the kind of security that comes by default for Vista and now Window 7.

    Also, for software developers it is pain to deal with all these new security rules with every new OS because they cannot know in advance what are those rules and hence they need to keep modifying their software to fit the new OSes.

    A clean open OS is what I propose. Let security rules be available for implementation by administrators and that is enough.

  10. Oh dear god. Thank you so much. This particular ‘security’ feature is, without a doubt, completly insane, and were it not for this website I would still be banging my had against te wall and resisting the urge to punch something. Sometimes I jut want to find the programmer at microsoft that came up with these ideas and beat the snot out of him.

  11. Is there an easy way to do say a whole drive? I have a drive that is no longer bootable, but has many files I need to get off in many different folders and locations.
    Am I correct in assuming I need to do this to each and every folder, document, picture I need to save?
    I am currentoly running Win7. I have been through this before on XP but don’t seem to remember this much trouble.

  12. hi i have a huge problem with my compuer cuz my all drivies r locked like drive c drive d and drive e so when ever i wanna open this it give me this massage cant open access denaied so when went to properties and then security and then advance so if i wanna eidit or continu it give me same massage cant open access denaied in all options in owner in efictive permission so it give me same massage cant open access denaied so if u guys help me out thnx

  13. I can hardly begin to calmly discuss what I think of the latest junk that is now on my dumped on my computer. Over the years I have stupidly thought that as long as I had paid for this piece of___________, and I paid (several times) for my copy of Windows ? that they were my property, to load or REFUSE to load Microsoft’s updates, as I chose to do. Today I’ve learned how wrong I am. I have spent HUNDREDS of Dollars from my meager Social Security income fixing what I thought were problems and which I now learn were only my resistance to Microsoft taking over my computer and what’s on it. THIS IS THE USA!!! We’re supposed to have control over the things we buy and pay for. IN SHORT–I now HATE this thing and everything it represents. Back in the 1970’s I was one of the stupid people who believed the line of ______, that basically told everyone what great timesavers these things would be!! Now I think that if anyone still thinks that way, they’re totally mistaken, and a part of the problem. People, wake up and realize what you’re doing to most other human beings and to the world! How many jobs are now overseas because their jobs aren’t needed any more? Now that Bill Gates is filthy rich, he does his charitable work OUT of the US. I don’t know the man but it scares me to allow one person to have as much power as he has. Computers are the most visible and known example of things meant to be good, can become a great source of harm instead. World, can’t you write your own letters? Is our privacy and freedom worth do little?

  14. WHAT A PAIN IN THE ASS i GET SO FRUSTRATED i SMACK MYSELF IN THE HEAD WITH THE MOUSE & AM GETTING F’N PO’D … THAANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP THO. SHEESH! Pay good money for downloads & get lock ups & permission denies left & right. I live alone & already password log in in. When is enough enough?!?

  15. I don’t know why the admin need permission in the f**king windows.
    but u can do this…
    Simply open notepad and copy and paste the following code
    and save as any name with .reg extension and run it.It add take full control command in context menu.Now right click on the file you want take control and click on take full control and you are done!
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    @=”Take Ownership”

    @=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f “%1” && icacls “%1″ /grant administrators:F”
    “IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f “%1” && icacls “%1″ /grant administrators:F”

    @=”Take Ownership”

    @=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f “%1” /r /d y && icacls “%1″ /grant administrators:F /t”
    “IsolatedCommand”=”cmd.exe /c takeown /f “%1” /r /d y && icacls “%1″ /grant administrators:F /t”

  16. THANK YOU so much! This program works wonders. Before, I would always be asked if I would allow something, and even if I said yes, I would still be blocked out. Now, I have real control over my computer.

  17. I have exactly the same problem, i am going crazy.
    If i was not playing games i would do everything with Linux.
    Windows 7 is expensive and after xp only become worse.
    I was thinking i need to unlock the folder with some kind of unlock software, till i started googling and found this page.

  18. My bad, I posted the wrong link…sorry! Here is the correct linkhttp://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/add-take-ownership-to-explorer-right-click-menu-in-vista/

  19. Hi:

    To complete these steps, you must check that the object you want to gain control of is not inheriting some permission from a upper file or group that has no permission or for which you have no permission.

    For example: I was trying to delete some files from my C:/Users/Olduser/ folder. Using the above steps I still got the message that I had no permissions. Going to Properties > Security > Advanced Options > Permissions, I found that although I was the owner of the folder, it had two entries like these (sorry if the wording is not exact, as my system is not in english):
    Name Permission Inherited from
    Users Read and execution C:Users
    Everyone Read and execution C:Users

    the others entries had full control or total control.

    After removing those two entries, finally I regained control of my files and folders.

    Hope this help.


  20. This feature is fine. The implementation, however, is terrible. All of the (litterally thousands) of files from my old XP install now haver permissions set so that only the administrator account can access them. In order to change them over, I have to set the secrurity for each file individually, typing out the administrator password every time.

    Why, in gods name, would they block setting permissions for multiple files at one time?

    As an added ‘feature’, if I try to set the folder to automatically pass on permissions to the files, I get told that I can’t do that, because I need administrator permission to alter the files. This is directly after entering the administrator password.

    And of course, the ‘take ownership with right click menu’ gives ownership to the administrator account whose password I use, rather than to the account I run the command from. Bloody brilliant.

    Trust Microsoft to take a useful security feature and turn it into a horrific nightmare of endless drudgery.

  21. if u guys dont know why u would do this then why are u worrying about it. should stay out of things u dont know how to use. or dont know what it does

  22. Windows 7 is a ‘f’ing nightmare, what is Microsoft trying to prove. I’m a retired A+, living alone; so why should I need to ‘Grant Permissions’ to use my own files?? I’m ready to format this hard drive on this new notebook, and go back to using ‘XP’!!

  23. This didn’t work for me with Windows 7 but RealTek has a new download titled:
    “Vista_Win7_R257.exe” that fixed everything perfectly after I downloaded it and restarted my computer.

  24. any chance that u might know how to delete the public folder or somthing i got a trouble with the witcher game and ive looked on som forums and all say its the public folder somtn in any case i gota delete it or somtn since it s a windows bound folder its gota admin security somtn on it cant delete it ive tried this take ownership thingy but it didnt worck out 4 me. thanks in advance

  25. I did exactly what you said and under permissions I have owner ship of all files but when I open all my pics it tells me it can’t find the type. And when I try to move them to my new hard drive it still tells me I don’t have permission. I need help this is driving me crazy!!!!!!!!

  26. Hi, done all of the steps above it -on my hard drive level, not for each folder – several times and still can’t access some of my files. Some files still only have the administrator having permission, even I added “Everyone” and I am owning the file. Any more advice? Thanks

  27. 19 pages including condom ads to print this article is ridiculous. It took 1 tree to supply the paper

  28. Windows XP is 10x better than Windows 7 in everything. I can say so because I have both at my home in 2 different computers near each other, and sometimes to compare them I use both at the same time.

  29. Nice Info I must say, and I did this already but unfortunatlly it did not work for me at least not for what I was doing. I own Windows 2008 server (similar to Windows 7) and appears to be that disabling UAC fixed my problem. So now I got slow issues problem but looks like this post http://mwd.com/oENF will clear everything up for me.

    Thanks for the tips.

  30. Nice Info I must say, and I did this already but unfortunatlly it did not work for me at least not for what I was doing. I own Windows 2008 server (similar to Windows 7) and appears to be that disabling UAC fixed my problem. So now I got slow issues problem but looks like this post http://mwd.com/oENF will clear everything up for me.

    Thanks for the tips.

  31. ok, I did this and it still says “you require permission from administrators to make changes to this folder” what gives. this file is on my external hard drive if that matters.

  32. Dan,
    Your comment is the most apropos that can be recited in polite company.  I am going to try the recommended fix; eventually it’ll all work out–I hope.  It seems to relate to files that I have copied, not originated, like say a Word document vs. ripping a CD.

  33. Another know it all talking to himself because he needs to cross the finishing line first.

    Communication assumes nothing, expecially not of proactivity, clairvoyance or genitalia size, from its intended. You either tell it all or tell nothing. But have your crown anyway. Satisfied now that you’d been crown King of The Knowledgables?

  34. When I found this the heavens opened up and god said to me “It’ll be ok…It’ll all be ok now”. 
    I wish I could buy the person who posted this a beer or whatever other preferred beverage.Thank You So Much!

  35. Dick van der Velde

    Does anyone know if this could be fixed/modified to do whole folders or drives at once? Would like to do something like that from the root of my removable HD. Because I dread having to go manually through over 10,000 files. Right now it only seems to work for the object you selected, would love to see another one that does the same but includes files and subdirectories.

  36. There is a God…. why does Microsoft have to make it so Fxxxing complicated… Leave the file system alone and just glorify the user interface…

    Thanks for posting this “how-to”…!

  37. I don’t have an edit button in properties! D: help me! I hate windows and if I had more money I would have switched to apple already…

  38. I have a Mac and a Win 7 laptop. I am now despising PCs with a passion – I have NEVER encountered so many problems as with this Win machine….on the Mac, you simply run “fix permissions” every once in a while. This is brutal….

  39. Oh, and just another little awesome tidbit you’ll probably like to know – watch your backups – if you made a backup with the permissions set one way, and then change them on the computer – you will not (may not) be able to access them. That’s right. You’ll lose it all. They were encrypted in one way, so unless permissions are set right back to the old way you had them (who remembers or can keep track!?) – you’re hosed.
    I hate Windows right now – I just want to reset all to default. All my files won’t allow me to post them to my ftp site now because somehow I don’t “have permission” – FACK OFF!

  40. Ok, I just read the post by Johnny5 about him being experienced in these matters and having problems after a CLEAN install, I assume with the files he backed up…the rest of what he said was kind of gobbledegook for me, but I swear…I have the answer for all of you unlucky enough not to own the solution. But here it is…..Get a Mac.
    I swear….get a Mac, all will be happy again.

    So I’m taking ownership, see!! But I don’t get to step # 9 above. Instead I get a screen called ‘windows security’ with a message that reads “Changing ownership of” and immediately on top of it a new window opens up – and it is labeled ‘Error Applying Security’. The comment inside the box says “An error occurred while applying security information to:” and gives the file location C:directory namefile name.jpeg This is followed by the words

    “””””””The media is write protected”””””””””

    Of course it is write protected!, That is why I came to this page in the first place. I’m trying to delete some duplicate files – my personal photos that took with my camera and that I backed up twice, they are in two different directories – the fact that they are write protected is what led me to this forum so that I could “TAKE OWNERSHIP away from Bill Gates and give MY computer to me! Is that really asking too damn much??? I have no idea why my files would be write protected? Certainly not by my choosing. In the end, I can’t even free up space on my own hard drive. 
    So It has two options, continue or cancel
    I choose continue and get the same window listing the next file name.jpeg in the directory and this continues until the whole directory list is expired. I’ve wasted my whole evening on this crap and I haven’t gotten anywhere. Microsoft, I’d like to knock the crap out of every worthless programmer in your company. I’m so tired of this – I’m buying a MAC next time. I’m the only one using my computer. Why do I need all these permissions and user account controls. Write a different program for office networks.

  42. for sharing purposes here you go! I knew all that already so this is what to do:

     just copy and past it. now should have all the rights to share  and is owned by the computer. Mostly we have this problem cause we got a new windows on an old system

    OK if your doing this I know point and click is annoying if you want to
    do multiple items like this and if you have it organized folders and sub
    folders ect. like series from tv like friend then season and that is
    all under folder tv… it could get frustrating.. So i was trying to
    share with my ps3 so easier than giving the parent and the children
    access is not always effective

    1. make sure you have enough hard drive space if not then you might have to do this in steps.

    2. Copy articles and just copy. (everything is reset to new folder. It’s
    windows being greedy. claiming anything as its              especially
    after you put it a shared folder then it gets all messed up.)

    3. Delete original files and you there you go.(if you took the time to organize you stuff during this process it should

        now be easier to find what you want by writer or performer or what ever tags you have added to you media. you can

        search by what ever criteria suits your fancy)

  43. please i want information about “I try to give all permission to users ,system for access folder ,file but it occur error ‘access denied’ ” why should this happen ?
    i want give permission for parent and its child folder please help me “[email protected]

  44. Romariorevotssp

     Sorry, but even though I did this I still get the same message. I need permission from Everyone to apply changes on the file

  45. Still does not work. I get access denied, even with icacls from cmd as admin. I can’t take ownership, can’t access a folder anyway. 

  46. All these people here complaining about the security settings, you don’t know about computers – do you?

  47. how can you add the rights for specific user without making his/her account an administrator

  48. Congratulations for seemingly being the only commenter so far who knows what they’re talking about. We can complain about the implementation no problem, but the fact that most people here are complaining that Windows even *implements* user rights has me shaking my head.

  49. when i goto ‘advanced’ in ‘security tab’ it just flashes away…plz help.
    i am the administrator
    windows 7 32bit

  50. This is how windows 2000 pro (sp4) did it.
    So it’s really nothing new to me? :)

    It is, how-ever, still a pain in the arse.

  51. I hate this so called feature. We have Samba shares on the network, from time to time, Windows 7 modified the right for allow me to write or change files on those Samba shares. What a stupid design! In addition, even after I did above steps, Windows 7 does not honor them for long. A month or two later, I can no longer accesss them again.
    With 1T Sanba shares, it takes few hours to change the permission on each computer, I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. Can you hear me, microsoft, I hate you put fingers into things not belong to you.

  52. I would say Microsoft has plans of putting themselves out of business. They just won’t keep things open. Thanks for the info.

  53. Thanks for the instructions. changed computers and hard drives which locked me out of folders containing audio video files. On the old computer I’d encrypted them with a forgotten password. On an older wins OS. So I continue hashing that partition to access files. At least this provides a guideline if I stumble.

  54. The point that you should take away from this thread, Joe, is that far too many people are having problems performing a task that should be simple.

    One should not be sent scouring the internet for hours, looking for the string of magic settings that will allow you to have your way with your computer.

    This protection method is fine, but the design of the user interface controlling it is very bad.

    Ultimately, it will lead to users completely disabling it, one way or another.

    Personally, I see an opportunity to write a bot installer that will eliminate these roadblocks, allow the rightful owners of the computer to use it how they see fit, and allow me to procure any information from their PC that I wish.

    The users of said utility will sing my praises, as I pilfer my way to fun and profit.

    Thanks Micro$oft.
    You just made me a very happy hacker.

  55. Heeeelp!

    HDD from an old Win XP laptop is usb-connected to a Win7 laptop. I have changed the permission as well as the ownership of the drive and its sub folders, YET I can’t access the content of the files and I get the same msg “can’t open this photo because you do not have permission to access the file location”!

    I have 150G data on it which I need to access. Any helps and tips are highly appreciated!

  56. When I pirate a game, “Arrr” I will sometimes get spurred with “Admin rights” prompts that I can’t fix. Gotta love user permissions on downloaded objects.

  57. I know this is an old thread but so far nothing has worked to delete a corrupt vhd file residing on my NAS WD HD.

    I cannot Attach the vhd file in drive manager as the vhd file is corrupt.

    Without the ability to’ Attach’ I cannot use drive manager to delete it.

    I have tried changing the properties via file manager and it allows me to select ‘Full Control’ but as soon as I hit apply, it reverts to ‘Special’

    I have set my rights as admin successfully using: net user administrator /active:yes from the command prompt run in administrator mode.

    When I try to set ‘New Owner’ using the method above I get the following error msg:
    Unable to set new owner on sys restore 8-3-2014.vhd. You do not have the Restore privilege required to set this user/group as owner. Well if an administrator does not have privilege who does? Bill Gates?

    I cannot have this 200gb file wasting space on my NAS drive.


    I don’t wish to give the impression that I’m a know it all but that little trick of , pulling the hard drives and running it as external . I like .
    I’ve never booted out of an external , is it possible ?
    If you want to give a simple explanation
    I’d appreciate it .

  59. check to make sure the files arent’ accidentally encrypted. right click –> properties –> advanced. should be an option there.

    seems to have fixed this for many customers even after the permissions change didn’t work.


  60. I tried the same steps for windows 10, but the user interface is different, could you help me out?

  61. I (current user) am the admin and owner of a folder object. Yet it shows and behaves as read only (MS office isn’t able to change/save files in this particular folder).

    I’ve tried to deselect ‘Read Only’ attribute numerous times but to no avail.
    Can anybody help pls? Guide me in some direction.

  62. Might have to dig a lil on the web, but Aaron Stebner and I perfected the
    Subinacl automated free reset for all desktop permissions.
    Yes free…….
    Great article!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *