Home > How To: > Gain control of those “Access Denied” folders

Gain control of those “Access Denied” folders

This is a short guide to help gain ownership of a folder that give you those annoying “Access denied” messages on your own system. This will reassign the ownership of the blocked folder giving you complete access to whatever you want, giving control back to you!

This guide was developed because even though I had administrator rights, I couldn’t get access to certain folders. It was really annoying because I owned this system and Windows would not even let me access certain folders on my own system giving me an “access denied” message.

This guide will also help you gain access to other people’s folders on your own system (such as My Documents or even profiles).

This guide is meant for Windows XP Systems. I’m not sure about the result or steps with Vista.

1) Log on to the computer with an account that is setup as an Administrator. If you are using XP Home, you must boot into safe mode, and then log on to an account that has Admin access in order to access the security tab.

2) If you are using xp pro, the first thing you must do is disable Simple File Sharing. In a folder menu, click Tools, then Folder Options.

3) In the “View” tab, scroll down until you see “Use Simple File Sharing (Recommended)”. Turn that off. Then close the “Folder Options” window.

4) Right-click the folder that you want to take control of, and then click Properties. You should see 4 tabs that say “general”, “sharing”, “Security”, and “Customize”. Click the Security tab.

5) Next, click the “Advanced” tab, and then click the Owner tab.

6) In the user list, click the user name or you want have access to the folder, or click Administrator if you are logged in as the Administrator. If you want to take ownership of the contents of that folder you originally selected, click the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects check box.

7) Next, click OK, and then select Yes when you receive the message:

“You do not have permission to read the contents of directory folder name. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?”

Click “Yes”. This will transfer ownership of the folder over to whomever you selected.

Click the link below to see an example of the process.

Gain Control Of Those ‘Access Denied’ Folders

  1. Jon
    July 14, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    I don’t know about XP Home, but in at least XP Pro, if you click anywhere else other than the “action portions” (for the lack of a better term) of the logon screen & doing a CAD will pop you into the corporate style logon.

  2. Tony Cosgrave
    August 27, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Thanks very much would $have been lost without yer info as i had a mainboard crash and couldnt do a repair installation with the new one, Now i have all my documents back i cant thank you enough.

  3. Terre
    March 22, 2008 at 8:51 am

    Thank very much for this. It save a lot of my time and work.

  4. Richard R. Kusaba
    March 31, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Thank You very much. Exactly what I was needed.

  5. September 17, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Saw this during my Thursday night web searches. Amazing what stuff you can find doing a search XP repair ideas.
    Kind of caught me off guard.

    Thanks for posting.

  1. November 8, 2007 at 8:14 am

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