The message «Access Denied» can appear in Windows when the user wants to make changes, save or delete files, and even after updating the system. The error is a result of permissions on the NTFS file system that Windows defaults to for files. These problems have simple and, in some cases, more complex resolutions that require actions with computer administrator data.
However, most can be easily resolved with quick procedures in the settings for a folder ‘s properties and security. To help our readers, we have prepared a list of settings that can resolve the main errors in Windows folders.
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See how to solve the main problems with folder access in Windows 10 – Photo: Luana Marfim / TechTudo
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Permissions problems for Windows folders may be related to the PC administrator – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
It is common that problems with accessing folders are related to the permissions defined by the computer administrator user. Only an administrator account can make changes to directory folders of other PC users. That is, if the access denied message is displayed and you are logged in to a common or guest account, you must enter a user and password for the administrator account to inform the system that you are allowed to make changes to the file in question.
Fix access denied errors
The natural resolution for access denied is in the ownership settings of a folder. If it was created by the computer administrator, only he can make changes. However, it is possible to solve the problem by changing the document’s ownership.
Be careful with this type of modification. Folders managed by the system should not have their properties changed because they contain files important for the functioning of the computer.
Step 1. Tick the file or folder with the right mouse button and access the «Properties» option;
Action to view properties for a folder or file in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 2. In the «Security» tab, select the «Advanced» option;
Action to view advanced options for a Windows 10 folder or file – Photo: Playback / Marvin Costa
Step 3. In «Owner», press the «Change» button;
Action to start the screen to change ownership of a Windows 10 folder or file – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 4. You will need to provide the computer administrator’s password to proceed;
Screen to provide the computer administrator’s password to change ownership of a folder or file in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 5. Enter your username on the computer and press the «Check names» button, as in the image below;
Action to verify a user in the tool to change ownership of a folder or file in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 6. If you entered the correct name, the system will find your data and fill in the field with the account description. To confirm the change, check the «Ok» button;
Action to confirm the change in ownership of a folder or file in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 7. If you want to apply the change to other folders or files within the folder you are editing, access the option «Disable inheritance». Finally, confirm with «Ok».
Action to finalize the change in ownership of a folder or file in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Review folder permissions
The system provides a feature that allows you to review permissions on a folder. If the problem is not resolved using the ownership change, this action may work.
Step 1. In the folder properties, access the «Security» option again. At that moment, press the «Edit» button;
Action to edit security options for a Windows 10 folder or file – Photo: Playback / Marvin Costa
Step 2. Enter the computer’s administrator password to continue the procedure;
Action to enter the Windows 10 administrator password to make changes to the folder permissions on the computer – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Step 3. Select your account under «Group or user name». Then, check the option «Full control» and press «Apply».
Screen to change folder permissions in Windows 10 – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Check your Antivirus settings
Computer antivirus may be impairing access to Windows folders – Photo: Reproduction / Marvin Costa
Your computer’s antivirus may be making it difficult to access folders and files in your account. Check the software settings to see if there is any protection for files or similar settings. If found, disable this feature and try to make changes to the folder.
If it doesn’t work, try temporarily disabling the antivirus and trying to access or modify the folder or files again. Remember to activate the antivirus at the end of the procedure to not leave your PC vulnerable.
Check file encryption
Access to a folder can be denied because its contents are encrypted. That is, only the user who performed the encryption and has a password will be able to access this folder. This feature is offered in professional versions of Windows. If you have this version of the system, access the file properties and, in the «General» tab, choose the option «Encrypt the content to protect the data». Action will block everything inside the folder for other system users.
This type of security measure is transparent and the owner will never realize that encryption is active on a folder. However, if the account does not have the certificate used in the procedure, Windows will deny access. Only those who have added the security element can remove it.
Windows encryption tool can block access to files – Photo: Playback / TechTudo
Other alternatives to resolve denied access
Disabling User Account Control is an unusual solution but, in some cases, can reverse the problem. To perform the procedure, enter the term UAC in Windows search and select the option «Change Account and User Control Settings». Then, drag the slider all the way and confirm «OK».
Once this is done, try the steps above again to take ownership of the folder.
Screen to change user account control settings in Windows 10 – Photo: Playback / Marvin Costa
Fix Denied Destination Folder Access
The message «Destination Folder Access Denied» is a more specific problem, but it can happen. Most of the time, the fix is to use the same methods listed above. Also, try to also check permissions on the source folder.
The above procedures can ensure that the problem of denied access to folders and files on your computer is resolved. To avoid this problem, try to be the administrator of the computer or have the same permissions as those users on folders and files that are of shared use. Remember to never change permissions on folders that are managed by Windows to avoid problems with the system’s operation.
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