[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a File or Folder Manually in Windows?

We here at AskVG post various themes, skins and other customization stuff which require you to replace or modify existing system files in Windows. You need to take ownership of that file or folder before modifying or replacing it.

We always suggest you to use take the ownership automatically using following context menu option method:

How to Add "Take Ownership" Option to File or Folder Context Menu in Windows

But sometime people complain that they are unable to take ownership of the file and we suggest them to take the ownership manually.

Since taking the ownership manually is a bit complicated task, today we are going to post a detailed guide with screenshots which will help you in taking ownership and granting full permission and control to yourself on a file or folder in Windows.

So without wasting time, here are the required steps:

1. Go to the folder which contains the file or folder on which you want to take ownership. Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties.

2. It'll open its Properties window. Now go to "Security" tab and select your username from the given list. You'll see that it doesn't have full control.

File_Permissions_Details.png

3. Click on "Advanced" button and it'll open a new window.

For Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7:

Go to "Owner" tab. You'll see that the owner would be set to "TrustedInstaller".

Change_Ownership.png

Click on "Edit" button, select your username given in "Change owner to" section and click on "Apply" button. It'll ask for confirmation, click on OK button.

If you are not a Windows 8 or later OS user, jump to Step 4.

For Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 and later:

Click on "Change" button near "TrustedInstaller" as shown in following image:

Change_Owner_Windows_8_File_Folder.png

It'll open new dialog box. Now type your username and click on "Check Names" button. It'll automatically convert the username to correct format.

Set_Owner_Windows_8_File_Folder.png

Now click on OK button.

4. Exit from both Ownership dialog boxes and come to the first Properties window again. Now select your username again and click on "Edit" button. It'll open a new window:

Assign_Full_Permissions.png

Select your username and click on "Allow" checkbox given for "Full control" option. Click on "Apply" button and then OK. It'll ask for confirmation, click on Yes button.

5. That's it. Now you'll have full permission on the file or folder.

Full_Permissions.png

Now you can modify or replace it without any problem. Before doing anything, first take a backup of the file by renaming it to some other name.

Also check:

[Guide] How to Restore "TrustedInstaller" as Default Owner of a File or Folder in Windows?

[Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a Registry Key in Windows?





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Posted in: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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Comments

  • hello im kinda frustrated here when i try takin owner of trustedinstaller it tells me i dont have access and it tells me the program is terminating what is the deal with that and i recently purchaced recovery disk from hp will that format my c drive and install new windows some please give me some answers

  • Thanks for guide, Tried it all and it still failed, I have complete ownership and It won't let me delete. Have tried an unlocker with no luck either. This is exhaustingly frustrating. It shouldn't take Hours to delete a damn folder. So far have spent about 6 hours over 2 nights trying to delete this folder, so much googling lol. Windows 8.

  • These instructions sometimes work, but most people wind up on this blog because they've already taken the normal steps and they failed. How do you fix the problem when you are logged in as an administrator, have full control of the file in question, get to the "Owner" tab, select the administrator account from the list, click "Apply", and Windows still refuses to change ownership and throws an error message? What kind of permissions do you need beyond "full" in order to take ownership?

  • VG

    ^^ Try to use the context menu option:

    http://www.askvg.com/add-take-ownership-option-in-file-folder-context-menu-in-windows-vista/

  • Per Dave: These instructions sometimes work, but most people wind up on this blog because they've already taken the normal steps and they failed. How do you fix the problem when you are logged in as an administrator, have full control of the file in question, get to the "Owner" tab, select the administrator account from the list, click "Apply", and Windows still refuses to change ownership and throws an error message? What kind of permissions do you need beyond "full" in order to take ownership? I am having the same issue on this migration

  • i only have the general tab. What should i do?

  • VG

    ^^ Which Windows are you using?

  • Need to delete a folder? Follow these steps:
    Step 1: Make a Linux boot disk (I recommend Ubuntu) and boot up in it.
    Step 2: Find your folder.
    Step 3: Delete.
    Done!

  • I have a window7 dell 1yr old laptop. The trusted installer will not let me edit the security settings, all settings are grayed out. Cant change it to administrator. How do I get this to work? I have files that need to delete and ti wont let me.

  • VG

    ^^ You can try Unlocker:

    http://www.askvg.com/download-unlocker-file-unlocking-utility-for-windows/

  • it says I don't have read permisions, help please.

  • Thanks Bro.....A Helpfull Post..... :)

  • Trying to edit [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Device Association Framework\InboxProviders\DAFUPnPProvider\Plugins\DlnaMetadataProvider\DeviceShims

    At step 3 of this tutorial (last screenshot) (select user or group) nothing appears in "enter the object name to select" even after clicking on "check names"

    Owner of the registry key is system

    Any idea ?

  • All of the boxes to check for permission and ownership are grey and inactive. I cannot check them. It will not let me change permissions or ownership at all.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you change the owner first using step 3?

  • the windows 7 one says ic ant do it but im a admin

  • I can't open some files and the massage is (access to the file was denied)
    and I've tried the way that you put about permission and check full control, but it's already checked (full control ) please help me because this file is very important for the university and tomorrow I'll have exam......please

  • Hello VG!
    Can I take ownership if I am using a standard account? Because I did the the exactly same thing but my user name didn't pop up in step 4... Please help me. Thank you!
    2014/1/25

  • will this work for windows 7 to change explorerframe skin to windows 8?

  • Thanks. While it didn't look exactly the same on Windows 8.1 on my computer, your guide was all close enough & seems to have worked. I actually started at the highest level folder & gave myself full control both by user name & by Administrator. I had to enable "inheritance" or something like that & check the box for allowing permissions on children folders to be inherited, too. Then it sequenced through all the files & at least the first doc that I had been working on, then allowed me to edit & save in the same folder, without the error message saying I didn't have permission to do it. So, we'll see if it holds up for the other folders & docs I'm working on. Thanks for your help. -- Mike

  • VG

    ^^ You are welcome. :)

    @luis
    Yes. It'll work for taking ownership of any file or folder.

    @PHb787
    It should work. If it doesnt, you can try to enable built-in Administrator account:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-enable-activate-hidden-administrator-account-in-windows-vista/

  • I tried all the instructions in VG's post and it wasn't successful. For both user accounts on my Win8 laptop, I made sure that all boxes under "Full Control" were checked. Then when I repeatedly went to annoying subfolders in C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\

    I could not delete them! In a vicious circle: Folder Access Denied !!

  • Awesome...! It worked perfectly... Though I learned as my Sir taught me many times but this time it seems I got it perfectly...!

  • Thanks, this works!

  • I have used your Registry tweaks to take ownership of as well as restore ownership to specific folders or files very successfully in Windows 8.1 -- they're a great help. However, the label in the right-click context appears as "Take Ownership" whichever tweak is activated. Just to check that I had done what I thought I had done, I have rechecked ownership through the security menus, and they are indeed correct. How can the label be changed? I don't suppose it's possible to activate both tweaks at the same time, is it, since I presume there can only be one 'runas' command at the same time?

    Thanks!

  • Yeah, running CHKDSK /R C:\ (at the next boot) did the trick! Afterwards it sounds relevant that the file system ought to be corrupted if you cannot take ownership of a file or folder you would be authorized to. Especially if Windows cannot state who's the owner of such a file or folder. Permissions have been clearly corrupted in such case. Cheers from France (Pierre de Grenoble)

  • Thank u so muchnezzz!!! Sukel my vrek met die probleem! En hier loop ek julle raak! Baie dankie

  • Hey no matter what I change the user to it still says i need permission.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try automatic context menu method?

    http://www.askvg.com/add-take-ownership-option-in-file-folder-context-menu-in-windows-vista/

  • I'm having trouble

    for me it shows that everyone has full permission..

    and yes i cannot access this folder..

    but it doesn't say special permissions.. that's the only thing.. the folder shows a lock image on it but it won't open

    and i just solved the problem. once you go to that first list by following these instuctions. it shows this list of people who are allowed. not people but whatever

    but there was also one called deny.. and it was selected to everyone. so this deny option was overriding all the allows..

    so i clicked remove on the deny one and now i can access it

  • ie this whole thing doesn't work

  • Hi,
    This worked for me on individual pictures. Do i have to keep doing this when I want to move some files to a different folder? May be I am missing something?
    I am the one and only administrator and I want to access and be able to move all files and folders on my laptop since I am the only one using it... no one else has access.
    If i have to keep doing this for individual files... I guess I can live with it, but it is tedious.
    SIGH!

  • OK, how do you take ownership of more than one file at a time because I do not want to do this on 4000+ files. There has to be a better way rather than me breaking things in anger.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try the context menu option or command-line method?

    http://www.askvg.com/add-take-ownership-option-in-file-folder-context-menu-in-windows-vista/

  • Excellent Post. Very helpful.

  • this is very helpfull! thanks!

  • @TommyC you have to change the owner name not to administrator but to the profile name you are using. only change the owner name to administrator if you log in under that name

  • and yes. thanks for the guide and also thanks for not making me log in under facebook or disqus. i hate that

  • The inability to do to the most basic functions in Windows has turned from a headache to full scale downgrade of the PC. To be a functional and productive socieaty we must admit the Cours were wrong when they overturned the breakup of Windows from Micrsosoft's monopoly hoading and break this company off into something that has a hope of responind to consumer and business needs. To let them coninue their monpoloy of the desktop market is to disupt the fabric of work and personal creativity. As individuals we must begin to learn other options, Linux a the forefront but also on tablets and phones boycot Microsoft and go with Android, open source programs and shun anything made by Microsoft. If we band together there is hope. If we do not we continue down the world's economic ladder toward oblivion. Please do your part.

  • thank you so much, it worked straight away!

  • Ok, I have gotten the admin on my computer to give me full permissions, but it still needs the administrator password every time i want to open the .exe file. When they wanted to give me ownership it didn't. It just gave me read/write permissions along with the full control checkbox being checked. It didn't give me full ownership though. I am running windows 8.1 and have been working and troubleshooting this problem for 4 days. Please respond quickly.

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try to turn UAC off using Control Panel -> User Accounts?

  • thanks alot.

    i was running my java programs. but it was not giving me permission to my java program in c drive.
    thanks with the help of this i was able to do it.

  • Thanx................................

  • TrustedInstaller won't let me download anything including the key code.
    It allows me to control everything but special permissions. please help. thanks in advance.

  • Thank you so much! I wanted to change my login screen but I could not change it because of TrustedInstaller. I did not know after you change the owner of it the dialog boxes become unshaded. This was very helpful advice, thank you!

  • I have a folder called Comodo (its a web browser) in my Administrators folder. No matter what I do, cannot delete it. Get a message from Windows Security" An error occurred while applying security information to: \\"path"\comodo. Access denied.". Click "Continue", and Windows Security shows another "red X" pop-up with message: "Unable to save permissions changes on Comodo. Access is denied."

    As I am the Administrator, what happened to this folder to disallow my deletion of it? How much deeper can I go into the security permission settings, other than I presume do some Registry manipulation (which I try and avoid)?

  • Wish I could attach a file to illustrate the steps, but I did go into Advanced settings under the Security tab (about 5 layers), and put Full Control on the parent folder, and all "children"/sub-root folders. It shows every Allow box checked, including "Take Ownership".

  • VG

    ^^ Try Unlocker:

    http://www.askvg.com/download-unlocker-file-unlocking-utility-for-windows/

  • not working on W8. most of the stuff is locked.

  • Brill it worked, thanks it's been driving me nuts......

  • Thank You So much... you saved my 250 Gigs of games....... Thanks a lot

  • Hi VG,

    I'm stuck in step 3. I'm trying to take control of some files in an external drive. It's not even letting me open the files. In step 3 there is no Owner assigned to the file (instead of TrustedInstaller), and when i click the "Change" link a new window opens but it gives me no permission to change anything, just a message that says "You have no permission to change the permission settings of this file". What should I do? Thanks!!

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try the context menu option?

    http://www.askvg.com/add-take-ownership-option-in-file-folder-context-menu-in-windows-vista/

  • Hi VG, It's Jo again. I tried the menu option but it is not working =(. Is there any other alternative? Thanks for the reply!

  • VG

    ^^ You can try the built-in Administrator account as well:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-enable-activate-hidden-administrator-account-in-windows-vista/

  • Excellent, thanks for that. complete removal successful from windows 7

  • hi
    i have taken ownership of a folder as per the instructions but after deleting that folder the space of that folder that is around 4gb is still blocked although i can not see that folder anywhere.
    i have tried to see in hide folders also but it is not there
    can anyone please help me where to search this folder and how to get that 4gb space (windows 7)
    thanks

  • VG

    ^^ Did you remove the folder from Recycle Bin as well?

  • Hi VG , yes and i checked it twice

  • VG

    ^^ Try to run Disk Cleanup as well.

  • Hi VG i did that also but in vain. the contents properties is 82 gb but if i am seeing the complete drive properties it is showing 86 gb used. before deletion of that folder also it was showing 86 gb.

  • This in reference to removing the "upgrade to Windows 10" system tray icon.
    It will let you change ownership. In C:\Windows\SysWow64 (Windows7 Pro 64), you have to change ownership of hte GWX.exe first, then grant yourself the permissions, then change ownership of the folder and again grant yourself the permissions. You might have to close and re-open it after the first change like the Windows popup message says however, I didn't and it let me change both. Then delete the file, and then the folder. Its just more Bill Gates empire bs - funny I first clicked on upgrading only to find out it says my Windows 7 cant upgrade because its a VirtualBox install and it doesn't like the AMD processor? Wow - talk about hi-jacking the computer business - thats why I run Windows inside of Linux - got a Windows problem? get a Linux solution - for free even without all the bloatware and other useless garbage.

  • Hello, I have Windows Home Premium 7 and the area where TrustedInstaller resides is labeled 'Advanced Security Settings for Programs Files (x86)' I think I need some other set of instructions to uninstall the Windows 10 Installer app in regedit and the updates because when I open updater the Windows 10 installer occupies 3/4 of the screen complete with a button to 'install it'
    I have relatedly uninstalled the KB 303553 file and tried your program to no resolution to this problem. I even set updates to manual, am unable to find any file that says GWX.exe.
    Thanks!

  • For those having "access denied" issue, this is my solution:

    OS: Windows 7

    1. Take ownership of the folder (file).
    2. Right click and select "Properties"
    3. Click on the "Security" tab
    4. Click on "Advanced"
    5. From the "Permission entries", look for a record with "Special permission"
    6. If found select this item and ensure "Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent" is checked.
    7. Click "Apply" and "OK"
    8. Attempt to delete folder (SHIFT + DELETE)

  • I had installed a new windows on a new hdd, when i tried to delete the windows folder on the old hdd, i could not change the permissions, but then i changed my password back to what it was on the old windows, tried again, could change permissions.

  • Thank You Vishal! :)

  • Worked great, 8.1, thanks.

  • This is insanely complicated to rectify something nobody in their right mind would want.
    Having to do this dance only makes loathing Microsoft all the more vicious.
    I won't ever buy another product they produce; the general public would be well directed to do the same.
    Nobody puts the thrust in "buy Apple" like Microsoft's asinine coding.

    PS. I don't care what name they attach, in the every-other MSFT winOS bomb cycle, this is the bomb rotation. I'll wait for the they claim they aren't going release it win11 OS .... in the meantime ... emphasis on MEAN, ... 8 Apples and counting.

  • Windows 10 Pro: I have an ODD one, In attempting to MOVE an MP3 I JUST created, the file was copied to the new folder on a different drive, BUT, the original file was not deleted and now cannot be manually deleted either. Oh Yeah, it will ALSO NOT PLAY! Winamp shows the file name but no info on the mp3, just a file name, no time or length.
    Using the (well known to me) permission system I went into Properties, clicked security, clicked Advanced, clicked the CHANGE next to Owner, and I get the message : "(!)You do not have permission to view or edit this object's permission settings."
    Your Take Ownership registry alteration does not work. This is NOT a system file, but a freshly created .mp3 file in a temporary folder. The OTHER files that were also created at the same time moved properly and were deleted just fine. Windows does seem to be searching the folder which is otherwise empty, but never finishes. The folder "address bar" begins to fill green as Windows does it's thing, but never completes.
    Obviously this is an error in the directory tree that I cannot alter. Trying to use the CLI also had no effect. Just not sure where to go from here. As a last resort will run CHKDSK /F on restart... might fix it that way... probably not. ;-)

  • VG

    ^^ Taking ownership will not work as the file doesnt exist. Restarting computer should fix the issue.

  • Use "Everyone" instead of yourself when the normal Ownership and Permissions don't work for you as the administrator.

    Just be careful to apply it only to the folders and files you want and then return the remainder to you when you're done. Otherwise, anyone can mess with it.

  • I've done the steps as directed, but Windows 10 will still not allow me access, even though it's showing that I am the owner of the files I need. What else can I do?

  • Hi. This worked for the main folders in my external drive, by doing these stpes on the drivew letter for the external. But every other subfolder still says the same message that i do not have access. I even clicked on the option to (Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent). However each subfolder i click on wants me to do this all over again, saying do not have access again. Isn`t there a way I can do this once on the properties of my external drive so it affects every single file and folder. Thanks for your help in at least getting access to main folders.

  • Hello. I ran across this guide to Take Ownership/Permission of file or folder manually in Windows and found it to be very easy to follow and I appreciate that. The only thing is that when I got to the step near the end where I click Change next to TrustedInstaller, new window opens, typed my user name-Administrators(Stephanie\Administrators) then clicked Check Names, I received a message saying the following: The following p object is not from a domain listed in the Select Location dialog box, and is therefore not valid: then it shows my user name. I was so happy I was able to follow the steps and seem as though I knew what I was doing then I get this message and I am now stuck. I almost had it! (lol) Can you advise when you have a chance. I should mention that I have Win 8.1 pro. Thanks, Stephanie

  • VG

    ^^ Is that system connected to any network? Are you using any custom DNS?

  • I am using wndows 7 and it is working great thanks for guiding us.........

  • Thank you for this tutorial. Worked perfectly for me, and I'm not getting those pesky "Activate your windows" messages anymore! :)

  • massage shown '' ACCESS DENIED '' you will need provide administrator permission to change these attributes.

  • 1- when i open video file with vlc media message shown File reading failed: VLC could not open the file "E:\New folder\SURA E REHMAN(QARI SADAQAT ALI).mp4" (Bad file descriptor). Your input can't be opened:
    VLC is unable to open the MRL 'file:///E:/New%20folder/SURA%20E%20REHMAN%28QARI%20SADAQAT%20ALI%29.mp4'. Check the log for details.
    &
    2 - when i open video file with vlc media message shown Windows Media Player cannot access the file.The file might be in use, you might not have access to the computer where the file is stored, or your proxy settings might not be correct.

    3 - then i open video file property in general,advanced open,Encrypt contents UN chick,click OK,apply massage shown ACCESS DENIED you will need to provide administrator permission to change these attributes,click
    CONTINUE Massage shown ERROR APPLYING ATTRIBUTES an error occurred applying attributes to the file: ignore/ignore all/try again/cancel i press ignore all result Encrypt contents not UN chick. why?
    &
    4 - in security advance section inherited from not properly work,not changing applying,not changing ownership applying i very triaged, i no have code or password & backup.
    please help me.

  • plus file not copy & delete.

  • history i install win8.1 few month used then this problem crate then i format the win8.1 & install win 7 but problem still then again i install win 8.1 but problem still why ?...

  • please help me whit windows 8 picture password enrollment failure

  • thanks so much for the info! worked perfectly!

  • Thanks for this very useful post.
    For Win10 users - as with Mike's comment regarding Win 8.1 - I found that I couldn't change the settings of the specific file I needed to rename/replace - but I was able to change them on the Windows folder itself, first selecting the option for permission changes to apply to all files and subfolders. I was then able to rename my file and replace it with a different version.
    Incidentally - this was because the WinHlp32.exe file supplied with Win 10 is not backwards compatible with some apps developed back in XP times - so (following advice in another forum) I replaced the Win 10 version with the XP version (after renaming the Win 10 one, for safety) - and that worked perfectly. Similar logic may apply elsewhere.

  • I had to look this over a few times before I got it right but it worked
    Thank You!

  • I had a problem relevant to this thread, a Windows 10/Cortana issue:

    Thank you each, one and all! I have spent hours on the Internet trying to do this very thing (take ownership of folders/files) so that I could repair damages done that I will not blame on the good folks at Microsoft (ahem). As many visitors are likely to know, the Microsoft instructions don't come close to describing the relevant screens or their functions. Do you get how grateful I am for your direction?

    I know that there is a great deal of work behind these posts. I hope you know that those of us who benefit are grateful.

    Mike

  • HELP !!
    i m not able to enter C: drive (windows 8.1), not even able to run any software as admin.
    Can't run system restore, elevated cmd. Nothing works in my case due access denied.

  • VG

    ^^ Try to enable built-in Administrator account:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-enable-activate-hidden-administrator-account-in-windows-vista/

  • this is so helpfull

  • Msoft's programmers are mad. Tried to rename iexplore.exe inside a system folder. Wouldn't let me, so tried to delete it. It went. Then tried to Undo delete from the Explorer menu, and it said I didn't have permission. Ha! Bit of an own goal there, Msoft. Incidentally, the Take Ownership on the context menu doesn't appear for some files, including that iexplore.exe.
    The hidden admin account... It's the first thing I do following a fresh Win install, then I delete the account created during the install, so always work as Administrator. It doesn't, though, give you full control, as proven by the messages received in the above example. You still have to be prepared to get down and dirty. Sometimes you have to have more than one go at a file before you can fully own it - using the instructions in the article and the other mentioned tools. OK all the way out, then try again. Try again after a reboot. Persist. Being told I can't do something on a machine that I own and built used to send me into conniptions, now I just enjoy the chase, and savour the victory when it happens. (I often turn off at the wall without shutting down, just to annoy the thing.) ;-)

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