How to Change Ownership of a File or Folder in Windows
Having full control over a user account on your system means you can make changes to that account owner’s files. But before you can have that control, there’s no shortcut: you need to own it.
Don’t know how to go about this? Don’t worry. We’ll walk through the process.
In this post, you’ll learn how to change the ownership of files and folders on Windows. This way, you can make modifications as you please. Note that if a file or folder is owned by TrustedInstaller, you need to follow a different procedure, mentioned in the link.
Customize Windows Right Click Menu | How to Add Program to Windows Right Click Menu | Context Menu
About the Ownership of Files and Folders
If you have no administrative privileges, Windows 10 won’t give you permission to make changes. That is why you need to make this happen.
Getting 100% control over the files and folders means you can access them — and do whatever you want. This is useful if you need to access old user accounts so you can make major changes to the operating system.
How to Get Access
This is the first part of the process. Completing this means you can access another user account.
First, press the Windows key and search for File Explorer.
Open the explorer. Then, right-click on the files or folders that you want to access and select Properties from the drop-down menu.
There, go to the Security tab and click the Advanced button. Doing this allows you to tweak the files or folders with special consideration.
Under the Select User or Group window, choose the Advanced button. Doing this lets you open more advanced settings.
Here, click the Find Now buttonto load the Search results. And under the Search results, choose your user account. Then, hit OK.
You will then land back on the Select User or Group window. Once you see your user account, click OK.
Once more, you will land on an old window. Here, click OK again.
Then again, do the same for the last time.
How to Get Full Access
This is the second part of the process. You may have access to another account already. But you might not use it to make major changes. After all, you’re yet to be its owner.
Only once you’re the owner of a user account, you can get full access.
Once again, launch File Explorer and go to Properties. Go to the Security tab and open the Advanced button.
Under Permission entries, click Add.
Here, click Select a principal.
Again, you will land on the Select User or Group window. There, open Advanced.
Load your user account using the Find Now button. Like in the previous process, doing this helps you find your user account.
Once you have eyes on your user account, select it and hit OK.
You will get to familiar Windows. Just click OK until you land on a window named Permission Entry (for file or folder).
Under Basic permissions, make sure to tick the box that lets you get Full control and hit OK.
Select Apply to let the changes take effect.
Then, choose OK to close the window.
How to Add Take Ownership Option in Right Click Context Menu of Windows 10
Although, Windows has its permission issues sorted by keeping the user account access level as simple as it can, for example, the Administrator account on Windows 10 would have all the permissions while guest account has the minimum permissions. but still there comes the time when certain files and folders are blocked from viewing or deleting to even admin access user accounts on Windows.
What is Take Ownership?
The main reason could be the files/folders are own by System or if you have upgraded your Windows 7 to Windows 10. then the old files are often locked and can not be accessed. In such cases, you can take the ownership of files and folder and then you can access, rename or delete without any issue.
We have written a guide on How to take ownership and grant permission on Windows which covers the steps in greate detail, however, it’s a manual method and you have perform those steps every time you want to access such files and folders. It is without a question that manual method of taking ownership of files is cumbersome and laborious and we are sure most of the users won’t be happy with manual method considering the amount of time and clicks it takes to perform the task of changing ownership of files/folders or objects in Windows 10.
What if you can have Take Ownership option straight under your right click context menu ? Don’t you think it will be faster and easier to change ownership? If your answer is yes then here is the method to get Take Ownership option under to right click menu of Windows 10.
Download TakeOwnerShip Reg File
We have created two simple registry file that you can download to have “Take Ownership” option in right-click context menu of Windows. Make sure you right click on the following link and select save as option to save the file on Windows 10 desktop.
How to Add “Take Ownership” on Windows 10
- Download zip file from the download section
- Extract the content of the takeownership.zip file and open the folder
- Inside the folder, there are two.reg files, InstallTakeOwnership.reg and RemoveTakeOwnership.reg respectively.
- As the name suggests, InstallTakeOwnerShip.reg will lets you to add the option to your Windows 10 context menu.
- Simply double-click on InstallTakeOwnership.reg file or right-click on InstallTakeOwnership.reg and click on merge option
- Click on yes on open file security warning and also select yes for User access control dialogue box.
- A confirmation message will appear to confirm your action of adding an entry to the registry, click on yes.
- That’s it, a message of successfully added to the registry will appear.
To check if the option is indeed added to context menu, right click on your desktop and look for “Take Ownership” option.
If you don’t want to have take ownership option any more then follow the same procedure but use RemoveTakeOwnership.reg file.
How to Add Take Ownership on Windows 8/8.1
- Download TakePwnership.zip file from the download section and extract file content
- Double click on InstallTakeOwnersip.reg file and confirm your action by click on yes for file warning and UAC dialogue box.
- That’s it, now check your rightclick context menu for the “Take Ownership” option.
Add “Take Ownership” Option in Right Click Context Menu
Download TakeOwnership.zip file and extract its content on the desktop.
Above zip file contains two reg (registry) files InstallTakeOwnership.reg and RemoveTakeOwnership.reg.
Double Click on InstallTakeOwnership.reg to install Take Ownership option in context menu
How to Add “Take Ownership” to the Right Click Menu in Windows Explorer
Screenshot of Take Ownership Option in Right Click Context Menu
In order to remove Take Ownership option double click on RemoveTakeOwnership.reg.
Sandip Dedhia is the founder of Blogsdna.com, He holds the degree of bachelor of engineering in Information Technology. He has 10 years of experience in writing and Internet marketing. He loves to write on technology, gadgets web services. At Blogsdna you can read his tutorials, how to guides on Windows, software app reviews. He is on too @sandipnd
How to Take Ownership of Folder in Windows 10 (2 Methods)
This guide demos 2 methods to take ownership of folder in Windows 10.
By Victor Ashiedu | Updated August 2, 2022 | 5 minutes read | 0 Reads
Options to Take Ownership of Folder in Windows 10
Here are the 2 methods to take Ownership of folder in Windows 10 discussed in this guide:
Take Ownership of Folder in Windows 10 from Folder Security Properties
The easiest way to take ownership of a file or folder is from the properties of the folder or file.
- Right–click the folder. Then click Properties.
- At the folder Properties, click the Security tab.
- Then click Advanced.
- When the Advanced properties of the folder opens, beside the current owner, click Change.
- At Select User or Group screen, type the user name of the new owner. Then click Check Names.
- If Windows finds the name on the PC, it will resolve it. Click OK.
- Back at Advanced properties of the folder, the new owner will now be listed beside Owner. If you wish to change ownership for sub-folders in the folder check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects. Then click OK
- Finally, at the properties of the folder, click OK.
Take Ownership of Folder in Windows 10 with Command Prompt
- Open Command Prompt as Administrator (Link opens in a new browser tab)
- To grant ownership of the folder “D:\MountedImages” to the logged in user, type this command. Then press enter.
- To gives ownership of a folder to the Administrators group instead of the current user, use the command below.
TAKEOWN /F D:\MountedImages /A
- Finally, to change ownership for the folder and all sub-folders, include the /R switch.
TAKEOWN /F D:\MountedImages /A /R
The command will scroll through, modifying the ownership of all sub-folders. If it gets to a folder you do not have permission to access, it will request to grant you full control. To continue, type Y.
These are the 2 common methods to take ownership of a folder. You can also use PowerShell. This guide covers the details of how to use PowerShell to take ownership of a folder – Changing Ownership of File or Folder Using PowerShell.
I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did, please spare two minutes of your time to share your experience with our community at Itechguides Community.
In addition to that, if you have any questions or want to share the method you used, you can also post them at Itechguides Community. Our community forum staff and other community members are always ready to find answers to questions raised by our readers.
Lastly, for more Windows 10 guides, visit our Windows 10 How-To page.
Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn EXE to Delete the Files
Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn EXE and Delete the Files. The good news is that TakeOwn.exe works with Windows 10 versions. TakeOwn.exe is the command-line tool that can be used to take ownership of files and folders.
This tool works well with PowerShell as well as command prompts. Now, you may think, why Powershell? As part of the PowerShell learning process, I’ve removed command prompt shortcuts from Windows 10 laptops. So by default, for everything, I use PowerShell rather than the command prompt.
Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn.EXE to Delete the Files
Try checking Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn.EXE to Delete the Files?
Following are the takeown.exe commands I tried from Powershell and the command prompt.
PowerShell = PS C:\ takeown /f.\Windows.old /r /d y
Command prompt = C:\takeown /f C:\Windows.old /r /d y
/R Recurse: instructs the tool to operate on files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
/F filename Specifies the filename or directory name pattern. Wildcard “” can be used to specify the pattern. Allows sharename\filename.
/D prompt Default answer is used when the current user does not have the “list folder” permissionon a directory. This occurs while operating recursively (/R) on sub-directories. Validvalues “Y” to take ownership or “N” to skip.
Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn.EXE to Delete the Files
Take Ownership utility results are something similar to the below screenshot. This TakeOwn utility can be used when you cannot delete any of the files and folders, even if you’ve full admin access on your Windows Machine. The random files getting locked and can’t be deleted a very common problem in Windows.
In case, TakeOwn.exe doesn’t work for you; I would suggest trying PSEXEC with system account/machine account privileges to delete a file or folder from Windows 10 machine. I’ve explained this process here “How to Run Application or Process from SYSTEM Context or Account“.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows.old\Windows\winsxs\x86_wwf-system.workflow.activities_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_346d5ccdd640c664\System.Workflow.Activities.d ll” now owned by user “ACN\Anoop”.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows.old\Windows\winsxs\x86_wwf-system.workflow.componentmodel_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_8deb83646c57c1d5\System.Workflow.componen tModel.dll” now owned by user “ACN\Anoop”.
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “C:\Windows.old\Windows\winsxs\x86_wwf-system.workflow.runtime_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7601.17514_none_67224784fe4912e9\System.Workflow.Runtime.dll” no w owned by user “ACN\Anoop”.
help on taking the Ownership tool!
PS C:\Windows\system32 Takeown /?
TAKEOWN [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]/F filename [/A] [/R [/D prompt]]
- This tool allows an administrator to recover access to a file denied by re-assigning file ownership.
- /S system Specifies the remote system to connect to.
- /U [domain\]user Specifies the user context under which the command should execute.
- /P [password] Specifies the password for the given user context. Prompts for input if omitted.
- /F filename Specifies the filename or directory name pattern. Wildcard “” can be used to specify the pattern. Allows sharename\filename.
- /A Gives ownership to the administrators group instead of the current user.
- /R Recurse: instructs the tool to operate on files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
- /D prompt Default answer is used when the current user does not have the “list folder” permissionon a directory. This occurs while operating recursively (/R) on sub-directories. Validvalues “Y” to take ownership or “N” to skip.
- /SKIPSL Do not follow symbolic links. Only applicable with /R.
- /? Displays this help message.
- 1) If /A is not specified, file ownership will be given to thecurrently logged-on user.
- 2) Mixed patterns using “?” and “” are not supported.
- 3) /D is used to suppress the confirmation prompt.
TAKEOWN /?TAKEOWN /F lostfileTAKEOWN /F \\system\share\lostfile /ATAKEOWN /F directory /R /D NTAKEOWN /F directory /R /ATAKEOWN /F TAKEOWN /F C:\Windows\System32\acme.exeTAKEOWN /F %windir%\.txt
TAKEOWN /S system /F MyShare\Acme.docTAKEOWN /S system /U user /F MyShare\MyBinary.dllTAKEOWN /S system /U domain\user /P password /F share\filenameTAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Doc\Report.doc /ATAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Myshare\TAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Home\Logon /RTAKEOWN /S system /U user /P password /F Myshare\directory /R /A
Anoop is Microsoft MVP! He is a Solution Architect in enterprise client management with more than 20 years of experience (calculation done in 2021) in IT. He is a blogger, Speaker, and Local User Group HTMD Community leader. His main FOCUS is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012, Current Branch, and Intune. E writes about ConfigMgr, Windows 11, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Windows 365, AVD, etc…
1 thought on “Windows 10 Files are Locked Can’t Delete Use TakeOwn EXE to Delete the Files”
Can I use this method to take ownership of and delete folders that contain Windows? I have a separate SSD that I need to be empty, but it has Windows on it with some corrupted or deleted files so I can’t log into that SSD itself, upon trying to log in it says that Windows is damaged and can’t be accessed. I put that SSD in a different pc to try and delete everything, but at this point, I’ve tried a lot of ways to delete/format an SSD, but they just don’t work. So is it safe to connect it to a different pc and run the takeown.exe command, take ownership and delete those files/folders, will it mess up/corrupt or do something to the main drive of the pc I have it connected to? Reply
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