Ever seen a popup dialog box with the warning: “you have been denied permission to access this folder” whenever you try accessing a particular folder on your PC? Don’t worry. Here are some quick fix methods you can use to resolve this error once and for all. Read on for the details…
Once in a while, when checking through folders on your PC, you might encounter an alert with the message that you have been denied permission to access this folder. The reason why you’re getting this notification is simple – access to some folders on the PC is restricted to persons with administrator rights only.
Microsoft included this feature on windows in order to protect folders which, in the view of the administrator, contain crucial data. That said, here are some workable fixes that you can use to access any folder that shows this error alert whenever you try accessing it.
Method 1: Modify Folder Permissions/ Ownership
If you don't have admin privileges to access a given folder, one way to fix that is to modify the ownership of the folder. Follow these steps to get that done in no time.
Step 1: Identify and right click on the folder that’s inaccessible then in the options menu, choose properties. The properties window for the folder will appear.
Step 2: On the properties window, select the security tab then towards the bottom right of that same window, click on Advanced. The advanced security settings window for the folder will appear.
Step 3: At the top of that screen, locate “owner” then to the right of that option, click on the Change button. That will open a small window entitled Select User of Group.
Step 4: Within that window, click on the check name tab then enter the word Administrator or Everyone or simply input your Microsoft username and email under “Enter the object name to select” field then click OK.
Step 5: Revert to the Advanced security settings window for your folder then tick the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects just under the owner option. Also, don’t forget to tick the checkbox for “Replace child container and object owner” at the bottom of the same window then click Apply then OK.
Congrats! You have successfully changed the ownership of the folder. Now, you should be able to access it without any warnings or alerts.
Method 2: Modify the registry
Another way to fix the error alert with the message that you have been denied permission to access this folder is by simply modifying the registry. Windows operating system allows users to make changes in the registry to improve access to folders and files. Editing the registry is normally complex, to some degree.
However, not anymore. With the Take Ownership tool, you should be able to edit the registry and resolve the folder access restriction error effortlessly. Follow these steps.
Step 1: First, download the Take Ownership.zip file and save it to any folder of your choice.
Step 2: From your extracted files, locate and install the Take Ownership.reg file. A confirmation dialog box will appear on your screen.
Step 3: Click yes to proceed then head over to the “inaccessible folder” and right click on it. Select Take Ownership from the menu options. Congrats! You can now access the folder without any more alerts or warnings hence.
Step 4: When you no longer need the Take Ownership.reg software on your PC, for instance when you think that it’s compromising your computer’s performance, you can remove it by simply running Uninstall Take Ownership.reg file (found among the files extracted from Take Ownership.zip).
Alternatively, you can remove it by heading to the registry then deleting the “runas” folder located under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\shell.
Tip: Editing the registry incorrectly might lead to serious system-wide problems that may only be fixed after you reinstall the operating system.
Method 3: Use the Take OwnershipEx tool
Another third-party software that you can use to access a folder that keeps showing the alert “you have been denied permission to access this folder” is by making use of the Take OwnershipEx application. Unlike the Take Ownership.reg tool that modifies your PC’s registry, Take OwnershipEx fixes the error without changing anything in the registry. Follow these steps to unlock any restricted folders on your PC:
Step 1: Download the Take OwnershipEx tool then install it on your PC.
Step 2: After installation, go ahead and launch the tool. On its user interface, you’ll see two options; Take Ownership and Restore Ownership. Select the former.
Step 3: Next, browse and locate the problematic folder. Upon finding it, simply press OK on the Browse for files or folders window. After that, you’ll see the alert “You get full access to the target”. That’s it. You’re done. Congratulations! You’ve successfully obtained permission to access the target folder.
Tip: In case you change your mind and want to restore ownership, simply launch the app on your PC then among the options indicated in step 2 above, choose to Restore Ownership then proceed as prompted.
Method 4: Use the Group Policy Editor
Another solution to the “you have been denied permission to access this folder” error alert involves making a couple of changes in the Group Policy Settings. Follow these steps to get it done:
Step 1: Press the following keys simultaneously: Windows + R. On the popup run window that appears, type gpedit.msc then press Enter to access the Local Group Policy editor.
Step 2: On the Local Group Policy Editor window, head over to the left pane then under User configuration, click on Administrative templates. On the right pane of the next screen, click on the windows components folder then under that, click on File Explorer folder.
Step 3: Under the File explorer screen, on the right pane, locate and double click on Remove Security tab. A window with the same name will appear.
Step 4: On that top right part of that window, choose Disabled from among the 3 options. Once you’ve done that, proceed to the bottom left of that same screen and click Apply then OK.
Step 5: That’s all you need to do to access any problematic folder using the Group Policy Editor. Very simple and straightforward, huh! Now, one last thing- exit the Group Policy Editor then go ahead and access the hidden treasures of that folder you were dying to access.
Method 5: Terminate Shared Folder Sessions
Shared folder sessions may sometimes limit access privileges for some users. A quick fix to that would be to simply close the shared folder sessions. Here’s how to do that:
Step 1: First, access the WinX menu by simultaneously pressing the following keys: Windows + X.
Step 2: On the WinX menu, click on the Computer Management option then proceed as follows:
On the middle pane of the computer components window, click on System Tools then, still on the middle pane, click on Shared folders. Still on the same middle pane, click on Sessions. If you have any shared folders sessions, you’ll be able to see them here.
Step 3: Terminate any shared folder sessions by simply right clicking on each of them and then selecting close session. Alternatively, you can close all folder sessions at once by clicking on Sessions in the left pane then in the popup options’ window, choose Disconnect All Sessions.
Step 4: That’s all! Now, check again to see if the error alert still appears when you try accessing that folder. Resolved? Great! If not, then try the next solution in our list.
Method 6: Use a Third Party Folder Explorer
If you’re still seeing the “you have been denied permission to access this folder” error message even after trying the above methods, maybe it’s time you considered a different File explorer app. It's likely that your Windows File Explorer utility has somewhat malfunctioned.
To fix that, all you need to do is use a third-party file explorer. There are many File Explorer alternatives that you can use. Some of the most popular ones include XYplorer, Directory Opus, FMan, Free Commander, and Explorer++.
Method 7: Copy and Paste the Folder in a Different Disk
If you are greeted with the “you have been denied permission to access this folder” message each time you try opening a particular folder, then this trick could as well fix it once and for all.
I suppose this should be the very first option you try out whenever you come across that folder error notification. It’s simple and straightforward. All you need to do is copy and paste the problematic folder to a different disk, then try accessing it from the new location.
It should open without any error alerts. If not, then don’t worry. One of the above priority methods will definitely fix the issue.
Method 8: Using the Local Users and Groups Option
Another way to fix this problem is by giving ownership of the problematic folder to a newly created group. Here’s how that works.
Step 1: Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R. On the Run window, type lusrmgr.msc then press Enter. A window entitled Local Users and Groups will appear.
Step 2: On the left pane of that window, right-click on the folder called Groups then on the popup menu options, choose New Group. A window called Group will appear with a number of fields.
Step 3: Under the group name field, enter your preferred name. On the left side of the same window, click on Add. A window entitled “Select Users” will appear.
Step 4: Under the “Enter the object names to select” field type your username or Microsoft account email. Verify the validity of the values entered by clicking the Check Names button. After confirming that they’re valid, click OK.
Step 5: Back to the window called Group, click the create button (at the bottom of the screen), to create a new group. Next, go ahead and change the ownership of the folder. To do that, you may want to follow the steps in Method 1 above.
Tip: Instead of Username, use the Group name indicated in step 3 above.
The above-mentioned methods are some of the best, recommended by experts and individual users, to fix the “You have been denied permission to access this folder” error message. From our list, you can choose any method(s) of your preference. All the best!