If you can not access certain folders and files, let’s see how to fix the permissions for the owner account. 

The permissions on Windows folders are really complex and it is very common to receive errors such as “Access denied“, especially if we create many users on the PC and we tweak in the settings of the folder (but rest assured sometimes change without doing anything!).
File permissions are used to give permissions to read, open, modify or delete files and folders.

For some Windows folders we can see the icon with a lock; this means that they have a protection criterion and limited permissions.

It is not uncommon to receive the error message “Unable to access …” “Access denied“, even if you are on the PC administrator card, maybe because you wanted to prevent another computer user from opening a file or folder.

We see in this guide how to manage folder permissions in Windows, so as to have full access to files and folders by reporting at the end of the guide also a tool to quickly change these permissions for each folder in an easier and faster way.

The access error denied in Windows is quite frequent due to authorization problems; Like any good modern PC there are some files and folders that can be opened and used only by computer administrators.

To improve the security of Windows, Microsoft has also denied access to the administrators of some folders; the only way to solve this error is to change the permission to open and edit a file or folder.

Authorization and ownership are two different things: giving everyone ( Everyone ) permission to a folder, if they will have complete control.

However, only the owner can grant permission to other users Register as an account in Windows.

1) Change owner 

The administrator of the computer can change the owner of a file or folder in the following way:

(The administrator can also not be the owner of a folder or Windows file when the owner is System, ie the permissions assigned to folders and files essential for system operation).

  1. To change the owner we right click on any file or folder, select Properties, let’s go to the Security tab and press the Advanced button.
  2. Next, we have to press the Change button.
  3. We will be shown a strange search window, in which we will have to enter the name of our account (if we do not remember exactly, we can use the Search Name button to get the exact account name).
  4. At the end just confirm to become the owner of that file or that folder.
  5. On Windows 7 and 8.1 the steps are similar, we will just have to bring us into the Owner tab, open the list of selectable owners and, in case it is absent, go to Other users or groups, press on Advanced and then on Find to get the complete list of users and groups to choose from the new owner.

2) Change permissions and access

If you want to use the computer with an Administrator user and want to add or block a user when accessing a specific folder, let’s see how to change file and folder permissions.

An administrator who can not access a folder does not have permission and finds the “Access Denied “error even if he was the owner of the file.

  1. To take full authorization of a file or folder just right-click on it, take us to Security and press the Edit button.
  2. We select the user Administrators and check that the Full Control entry under the Allow column is enabled, so as to assign all the permissions, then click on Apply and OK. On Windows 10 it may be a good idea to assign permissions Full Control even to Authenticated Users, which are users with Microsoft accounts associated with the system.
  3. When finished, press OK.

Enabling Full Control gives you permissions to read, write, modify and delete; unfortunately you could still receive the Access Denied error making these changes, because you do not have permission to change the permissions.

To solve, let’s go back to the Security tab, press on Advanced, go to the Permissions tab and notice that your account does not have complete control.

If we are the owners of the file or folder press on the Add button, then click on Select an entity and enter Administrators or the name of your account, then we put the check mark on Full Control to be able to unlock all permissions to the file or folder.

3) Block access and permissions for specific users

And if we want to prevent access to a specific folder or file for a specific PC user?

  1. To be able to block a user just follow the same paths seen in the previous paragraph, but instead of assigning Complete Control under the Allow column we will use the Deny column, so as to block all permissions (but also wanting those that we enable in its column).
  2. If we do not find the user to be blocked, just click Add and add the name of the user to be blocked (making sure that the chosen user is not in turn Administrator otherwise he can remove the block very easily).

4) Quickly unlock locked files

All these complicated procedures, usually, are occasionally made to erase unspeakable files or to open system files.

  1. To do this first, we can use tools such as unlocking files and deleting them even if they can not be deleted, as for example the program offered by IObit Unlocker and downloadable from here -> IObit Unlocker.
  2. Once installed on the PC, simply click on the Add button below to select the file or folder locked and leave the program, which will try to make the files accessible again by automatically setting the right permissions or closing any programs or processes that hold “hostage” of the file or folder.

5) NTFS Permission Tool 

To manage the permissions of folders or files in a much simpler way we can download the portable program (which does not require installation) and free NTFS Permission Tool.
To download the latest version of the program just click here -> NTFS Permission Tool.

By default the tool is in English; if it were in Japanese go to change the language by clicking on the first menu from the left (it would be File), the penultimate entry (or the second from the bottom).

I really recommend downloading this program because it makes managing permissions in Windows really easy and immediate.

Just drag a file or folder to the interface to change its permission for all accounts registered on the PC.

We can also change the owner and, by pressing the right button on the item to be configured, copy and paste permissions as well as access an Advanced menu which makes it easier to organize permissions, especially if you need to set different permissions for each user on your computer.

If you find yourself going crazy behind the permissions, the permissions, the legacies and how they spread to the subfolders and the included files, this small program of quick modification of the permissions will become really indispensable; network administrators will thank you!


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