How to take full ownership of files and folders in Windows 11/10/8/7

When you access files or folders on Windows 10, you often receive an error that says you do not have permission to view the file or even see what is inside the folder. These errors generally pop up when you are trying to access System files or files owned by anybody else. The post shows how you can fully own files and folders in Windows 11/10/8/7.

Take Full Ownership Files Folder Windows

How to take full ownership of files and folders in Windows 11/ 10/8/7

If you are an admin and try to access System files or files owned by some other person, you will be prompted. It is easy to get access as the OS will permit you. However, if you are not an admin, you must ask an admin to permit you or make you the owner of those files.

  • Select a file or folder, right-click, and select properties > Security Tab.
  • It will list down a list of owners and the option to change permission.
  • Click on Advance Button to open a detailed window to view Permissions, Share, Auditing, and Effective Access.
  • Check the permission settings. You will notice that your name is not in the ownership or another username is mentioned.
  • The marked section in the image below notices Unable to display the current owner message along with the Change link next to Owner Name. You need to change this to yours.

Take Ownership settings in Windows 8

  • The next step is simple; click on the change link. It will open a window where you can search for users.
  • Find your username, and add it.
  • A warning might prompt you to click yes, and you will own the file under your name.

Now, In an exceptional case where you don’t have any access to the file, i.e., you cannot even view it, you will need to add your username in the Permissions section. It is like you own it, but you cannot see it unless you get a key. You may see an error message: “You don’t currently have permission to access this folder.”

So switch to the permission section and add your username similarly.

  • File > Right Click > Properties > Security > Advanced > Permissions > Add
  • Click on Select Principal > Search and Add your username.
  • Now make sure you have Full Control.

Adding Username to Windows 8 File Permissions


Advanced Permissions for Files and Folders

You may choose the advanced settings in the same window if you want even more granular control.  It gives you options like Take Ownership, Change Permissions, Create Files / Data, etc.

Take Ownership Advance Settings


How to check Effective Access for Any user for a file or Folder

Now if you are a system administrator and would like to find what kind of access any Windows user (local or domain) has on any file, you can check by using the Effective Access Tab. All you need to do is add the username of that user, and you will be listed with explicit permission granted for that user.

Effective Access to Windows 8 User for a file

You can limit any other user viewing the file using the same steps. In case you still have questions, ask in the comments.


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