Folder Is Not Accessible – Access Denied

It really is a horrible situation when one tries to open a folder and it says that access is denied and the folder is not accessible. This situation is usually encountered in NTFS file system and when the ownership of the folder is discurbed. There are several ways when the ownership of a folder or file is altered without the intervening of the user which includes the reinstall of the Windows operating system.

The best way (and the only one I know, please tell me if anybody knows some other way of doing this.) to open the folder or file is to take the ownership of that file or folder. Now I show you how to take the ownership of a file or folder.

Right click that file or folder –> Go to Properties –> Open the Security Tab.

Click on Add –> Write you Windows username (which you use to logon to your Windows box) in the white box and click Check Names.Most probably, Windows will find outr your exact username and will display it infront of you. Click Ok. Now check Full control in the permissions box to give yourself full control of the folder and let Windows set the permissions on the folder or file for you. Most probably now you can enter the magical folder :-).

If Windows can’t find your typed in username, most probably you’re typing your username incorrectly. Alternatively, you can click on Advanced and click on Find Now. Window will list all the users on your system and you can choose your user from the list.

There’s another possibility that the contents in that very folder will behave the same as the folder was doing previously. To change the security settings of all the subfolders and files in one go, you should right click the main folder –> Go to Properties –> Select Security Tab –> Click Advanced and then check both the check boxes “Inherit from parent the permission .. explicitly defined here.” and “Replace permission entries on .. that apply to child objects”

If you have done all of the above steps successfully and still the file or folder is not opening, then you should right click that file or folder –> Go to Properties –> Select Security Tab –> Click Advanced –> Select Owner tab –> Select your username from the list and then check the checkbox “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects”. Click Ok to apply permissions. Now you should be able to open the folder and its content with no error messages.

Note: If the properties of a file does not contain Security Tab. Then Open Folder Options –> View Tab –> Uncheck Use Simple File Sharing

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107 thoughts on “Folder Is Not Accessible – Access Denied

  1. deepak

    hi
    when i open the folder, than show access is denied. and windows not work i conneted to this hdd in another system ,

  2. Scada

    The problem folder does not have a “Security” tab. If I fo through Folder Options, I do not have a “Use Simple File Sharing” option. Yes, I am the Admin of this system.
    What next? How do I gain access to the folder I just created?

  3. rahul

    The problem folder does not have a “Security" tab. If I fo through Folder Options, I do not have a “Use Simple File Sharing" option. how do i use ur tip then..plz reply

  4. krizna

    If the properties of a file does not contain Security Tab. Then Open Folder Options –> View Tab –> Uncheck Use Simple File Sharing

  5. jake

    alright, i cannot access a security tab. there is none, and i am unable to find a slot in view for simple file sharing, but i still have this problem?

  6. Sanix

    jake, if you can’t access the security tab, please do the following:
    Go to Control Panel –> Folder Options –> View.
    In Advanced Settings, Uncheck “Use simple file sharing” (last option). This will activate your security tab.

  7. harjit

    If the properties of a file does not contain Security Tab. Then Open Folder Options –> View Tab –> Uncheck Use Simple File Sharing it did not work

  8. Sanix Post author

    Harjit, can you explain a bit. What did you do. Because the security tab should come after unchecking Simple File Sharing. Restart your Windows Explorer or restart your computer. Make sure Simple File Sharing is unchecked.

  9. Harjit

    Hi! thanks by restarting the pc my issue got resolved, but now another issue
    I have is I cannot double on the drive it says autoplay, I have to right
    click and open the drive, and also if connect the external drive after
    sometime even that gets the option of autoplay, the double click gets
    disable..

  10. Crystal

    OMG THANK YOU, I was almost ready to freak that I would never be able to get my drive to be accessibe. I found many instructions online that were very hard to follow, and would not work for me. You have a few simple steps and it worked perfect!!!! THANK YOU

  11. rex

    Ok… when i go to view –> folder options there isnt a “use simple file sharing” box and im the admin of this comp.

  12. CY

    I’m having the same problem as rex. “Use simple file sharing” is not an option in Folder Options -> View -> Advanced Settings.

  13. Abhi

    Man, you saved my golden data, my dad was going to kill me if he has found his files missing. You saved me and my PC. THANKS A LOTTTT!!!

  14. Abhi

    for autorun problem, go to start menu>run> and type (cmd) without brackets.
    Command promt will open there type
    cd\
    attrib -r -h -s autorun.inf
    del autorun.inf
    If this doesn’t work pls. make same changes in commands like type attrib autorun.inf or attrib -r -h -s alone one by one.

    I hope it will work , then restart PC if file gets deleted without any error.

  15. JFW

    I am running XP home and I cannot find the “Use simple file sharing” option in my advanced settings. Any suggestions?

    Thx

  16. Jim

    Hi yes I’m running XP Home and I don’t have a simple file sharing option either. I’m currently at SP3 but this problem happened when I had to slave my old HD as windows got corrupted at base XP Home before SP2 applied to it.

    I can read all my other files and folders (except program files) ok

    Help

    Jim

  17. Camel

    There is no “simple file sharing” option or security tab. What to do? I am going to try to open the same folder after I reboot in safe mode. Safe mode should work but I still want to be able to access a remote drive while I am in regular XP “normal” start up.

    Any thoughts?

    Camel

  18. turtle

    Hi,
    I encrypted some files years ago, then re-installed windows shortly after; loosing the user name and profile that could access the encryption.

    For months I’ve tried various methods (including this one) but still can’t access the files. The font is green, and i get the unable to access pop up.

    Any ideas?

    thanks.

  19. Luqman

    What you provided was relly of great help, I thought that I will never be evr to retrive my files,

    Thank you… Thank you very much

    Have a Nice Day

  20. Nazmul-Dhaka

    How I manage end user desktop from active directory, I am using windows 2008 enterprise server with AD.I like to disable and enable end user PCs USB port, CD drive, Desktop wallpaper, printer and file share, Please help me dear all friend.

  21. Shmuel Chayempour

    i have the same g-d damm simpel file share problem this is the secend time that damm fetuer scwd me over

  22. Jude

    I’m running XP Home, and I have a couple of folders that give me the “Access is denied” error message. Also, when I go to “Properties” for the problem folders, they say the folder is empty, when it should have about 30 GB of files in it.

    This problem seemingly came out of nowhere. All I was doing was moving the problem folders from one folder to another. Any ideas?

    1. Sanix Post author

      Jude please see the following article to fix your “Access is denied” problem of the folders.
      Folder Not Accessible – Access Denied

      And also set show hidden files from your Tools –> Folder Options –> View

      If you have any confusion, just comment again and we’ll get into more details about your problem.

  23. mr.killjoy

    Thank you so much for the solution you provided here! I’ve gone through so much to save the files on the folder I’m having problems with. Again, maraming salamat!(that’s thank you in Tagalog)

    1. Sanix Post author

      mr.killjoy thanks alot for the feedback. Keep visiting and keep in touch. mMraming salamat again 🙂

  24. Janet

    Thanks, but it only works on my sister’s laptop with Windows XP SP2, not on my desktop with SP3. When using SP3, when I go to folder options, view, the “simple file sharing” doesn’t even appear. How can I fix it?

  25. Michelle

    I tried to access some folders and I have this error. I can access all other files and the top most files in the hdd. When I go to access the 2nd tier of files for only 1 folder, they all say access denied and show as having no data in them. When I go to the view tab, I do not have an “advanced” option, nor do i have a “use simple file sharing option”. Is there anything I can do to get my access back?

  26. Abdul Majeed

    Folder & folder in not accessible, Access denied

    No Security Tab available upon clicking Property of F:\document and setting\Username\mydocuments

  27. Johnny

    I’m running XP Home, and I have a couple of folders that give me the “Access is denied" error message. Also, when I go to “Properties" for the problem folders, they say the folder is empty, when it should have about 30 GB of files in it.

    This problem seemingly came out of nowhere. All I was doing was moving the problem folders from one folder to another. Any ideas?

    ^^^^^ quote from Jude

    I am havin exactly the same problem and i’ve tried everything that people on here said to do. Anyone else have anymore solutions?

  28. Sandi Bird

    I am having the same problem that Turtle listed on November 9, 2008. I encrypted a whole big folder a long time ago – big mistake. I moved the folder last night and then couldn’t open any of the encrypted files. I tried moving the main folder back, but that didn’t help. I’ve tried all of the suggestions here from unchecking simple file sharing to taking ownership and Changing ownership on the security tabs. I’ve logged in in safe mode to try it. I even did a system restore, but that didn’t help. My files are listed in green, but all I get is the Access is Denied message…Can ANYONE help me?

  29. folkert

    if you don’t have a security tab it’s because you are using windows xp home edition. restart you computer in save mode using f8 while booting should fix this problem

  30. Sandi Bird

    Hey Crow and folkert, thanks for the suggestions. I tried again with the steps listed on Microsoft’s site. I’m logged in to the administrative account, and I do have the security tab. I’ve unchecked simple file sharing, taken ownership on the security tab, etc…and still get the access denied message. I even tried copying them to my external drive as it is a FAT drive vs the NTFS file system on my laptop, but I get the “access denied” message just trying to copy the files. I have Windows XP Media Edition on a Gateway laptop… Any other thoughts or ideas? (Other than rolling back time to that fateful night that I tried moving the folder to begin with…Lol!)

    1. Sanix Post author

      Sandi Bird did the folder copy to the FAT partition properly? make sure that the folder was not encrypted with Windows encryption.

  31. Sandi Bird

    Actually, it wouldn’t even copy at all…I just got an error message saying access denied when I tried to copy it.

    1. Sanix Post author

      Sandi Bird, its surely the user rights issue. You should try our method again. Make sure that your username has got all the rights.

  32. Akram

    pls help me so in advance thnk u very much sir.
    i am worid this problems. my folder not open.
    err it. folder is not accessibe – access denied
    and show folder empty.
    i am waiting for ur masseage

  33. Luis Cavazos

    Thank you very much!

    This part works to me…. (right click that file or folder –> Go to Properties –> Select Security Tab –> Click Advanced –> Select Owner tab –> Select your username from the list and then check the checkbox “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects").

    I’m using Windows Server 2008 FYI

    Saludos!

  34. sims

    i dont have the security tab in the properties window …
    wut should i do ???? plz reply me

  35. sims

    i dont have the security tab in the properties window …
    wut should i do ???? plz reply me

  36. sims

    i dont have the security tab in the properties window …
    wut should i do ???? plz reply me

  37. pjinpajamas

    sims,
    i have the same problem as u – i dont have a ‘securty tab’ either. i only have ‘general’, ‘sharing’ & ‘customize’ tab; none of which seem to have any owner or admin options… whut should i do? im so stuck!

    thanks in advance. 🙂

  38. help

    long story but had to install a parellel xp windows. problem is old system was pasword protected on load. Files are there in a folder. Get the access denied. Security tab wont let me change rights! All my business files are there. Is there anything I can do?

    Security tab is greyed out. Tried going up one folder and having rights move down.

    Did try safe mode. (Or oringinal windows was trashed and will not boot. Maleware nailed all the boot files. 2nd installation was clean was wondering if there were files i could copy over etc.

    Thanks for help!!

  39. Harout

    to view the security tab open Folder Options in Control Panel, then on the View tab, under Advanced settings, clear “Use simple file sharing [Recommended]”.

  40. lawnrevenge

    Thanks!!! This has been a bigger help than any other website. For anyone wondering this works on Windows 7 too.

  41. Chuck H

    I had the same problem. I could map a network drive but I could not get into a folder Access Denied. What I done was unshared and re-shared the drives. Went into my computer / System /Computer name/and network ID. Ran the wizzard for a home network. Rebooted and everything worked fine. Hope this helps someone.

  42. wasim

    hi bro,

    thank you very much,….. i am very upset from these problems….. now i am very happy to see my files….. masha allah…..

    once again i thank you very much

  43. Roy

    got it fixed….
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

    my problem is :
    i have WIN XP on 1st hardisk. 1st hardisk dont wanna boot, and then i install the same WIN XP on 2nd hardisk. when i boot WIN XP on 2nd hardisk and i try to open my document on 1st hardisk, this error messages appear.

    And i try to follow the step on that link…
    many thanks

  44. Audio Interconnect Cables

    the actual most comprehensive info possess discovered on this topic on the actual net. Will be back again soon to follow up.

  45. tammi

    This was such a big help I am glad i stumbled across this site i was sitting here trying to recover that folder for the whole day Thanks :-*

  46. mobodojo

    tnx bro…….

    it helped a lot……..

    you rock!!!!!!!!!!!!

    more power to you!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Robin Welsh

    When I open properties, it does not have security as an option. It has “General” and Sharing

  48. Keinko

    Dear Sir,
    i have read and apply your techniques but right click>folder>properties>sharing and security> does not show security tab. now how can i access my folder? plz help me.

  49. Coolidiot

    Thank you it worked 100%. To get Security Tab, Open My Computer–> On the Top menu, Select Tools –> Go to Folder Options –> Go to View Tab –> uncheck Simple File Sharing 🙂 You will see the Security Tab now

  50. Suraj

    OMFG. That was the easiest thing ever. I searched so much and the answer was HERE. You’re awesome, thanks ALOT. SERIOUSLY. Phew!

  51. Paul Hampson

    For some strange reason I boot back into XP after using Win 7 for a few days, dual boot system, and now I cannot acxcess a folder where most of my music files are!!! I am sure it is no coincidence I was setting up sharing of that folder in Win 7 but I didn’t think it would affect XP.
    Thank you for your post, it didn’t exactly cure my problem but it led me in the right direction and now I have acessv )
    The tip in the comments to go to folder options to change the sharing was good…but when I got to the security properties dialogue the ‘Add’ was grayed out, I had nowhere enabling me to enter my name or even change the effective user, which was some S-bla-bla-bla account name…
    Eventually I found a way to do the ‘find now’ and then it was just a case of selecting my admin account from the list and taking control of the folder…
    Nice one!
    🙂

  52. Guest

    You’re a savior ! I tried everything Microsoft and others could throw at it an nothing worked ! This did the trick immediately, and so simple.

  53. PullingOutMyHairRightNow

    HELP. Even after I did the unchecking stuff I can’t do anything with the security tab!!! AND I’M THE ADMIN!!!!

  54. Paradzai Chivhunze

    Thank you, i used the last part (right click that file or folder –> Go to Properties –> Select Security Tab –> Click Advanced –> Select Owner tab –> Select your username from the list and then check the checkbox “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects". ) and it worked. Thank you very much, had ran out of ideas.

  55. AndreasSalini

    Try http://LongPathTool.com
    Do you have error messages?, like :
    Path too long
    Error cannot delete file: cannot read from source file or disk
    Cannot delete file: Access is denied
    There has been a sharing violation.
    Cannot delete file or folder The file name you specified is not valid or too long. Specify a different file name.
    The source or destination file may be in use.
    The file is in use by another program or user.
    Error Deleting File or Folder
    Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.
    Error Copying File or Folder.
    Cannot remove folder.
    The filename or extension is too long.
    Path too deep.
    Destination Path Too Long.
    Could not find this item.
    Filename is not valid.
    The file could not be accessed.
    The path you entered, is too long. Enter a shorter path.
    File Name could not be found. Check the spelling of the filename, and verify that the file location is correct.

    Try http://LongPathTool.com

  56. robert

    C:\Program Data\Favorites is not Accessible access is denied

    nothing works yet to fix the this error amazing just popped up right out of the blue crap for no reason any fix s that work out their ; my e mail is here waiting for the fix .

    using win 7 64 bit with i.e. 7.0 . .

  57. damir

    i gained access to folder but i cannot open anything in him not books, music or anything else any advice

  58. emy

    i tried the steps but it end up in an error msg “unable to save permission changes ”
    actually i drop “my picture” folder in some other folder :/ now its not opening .plz help me i ll lose all my pictures 🙁

  59. GabrielNar89

    This is a Windows* OS/file system issue.The cause is directory paths on the drive is longer than 255 characters (including spaces).There’s a lot of additional softwares which can fix this problem like Long Path Tool.
    http://PathTooDeep.com
    Long Path Tool can simplify and probably end your problems in unlocking, managing and renaming files that appear to have a long filename.

Comments are closed.