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Windows 7: Access denied when taking ownership of a file

27 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7
Access denied when taking ownership of a file


I recently downloaded an application file (.exe), and tried to delete it, but i keep getting the error "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item".

I tried changing the ownership of the file > right click > properties > security > owner >edit >selected my user account (administrator) > and clicked ok. All i got was an "access is denied error".

I even tried going to cmd and using the takeown and icacls functions, but am still getting the access is denied error.

Any advice on how to take ownership of this file is greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Mar 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

You seem to have used all the heavy guns available in our arsenal. How about setting back to a restore point from before you downloaded the program?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Mar 2010   #3

windows 8.1 pro

there are two programs i can think of
1 - unlocker, i don't have a link for it, but it should be easy to find it.
2 - winbubbles, it gives you the right click option in the menu to delete afterwards.
the first one, never had a problem with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Mar 2010   #4


Remove the system and hidden file attribute first. Use an elevated command prompt.

attrib -s -h C:\and the full path of the file, if your drive is not C:\ substitute correct letter

Now try to take ownership

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Mar 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1

Boot into safe mode, use Unlocker. That should work to delete the file. If it was a malicious file, there may be more files protecting it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2013   #6

7 Pro 32 & 7 Home Prem 64

Old thread I know - but maybe someone else stumbles upon this as I did.

Mombodog mentioned above using elevated status - this worked for me, but without having to go to the command line. I started Explorer with the right-click "Run as Administrator" option and then was able to take ownership as per OP's post.

In my case it was also a downloaded file, but a bit torrent using BitLord which I'm still not completely au fait with and I may have used an option in BL that unloaded the file without releasing it properly first. Who knows, but I wasn't about to try re-getting a 5.1 GB file that had taken over a week to download in the first place!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Access denied when taking ownership of a file

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