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How to fix “You do not currently have permission to access this folder” on Windows 10

Windows 10 has lots of system folders, many of which should not be tampered with. These folders aren’t hidden and may give the impression that modifying them is safe. To keep the folders from being modified, they’re locked behind administrative access. Only an admin user can open them.

While many folders are locked behind administrative access, you will often find that there are other folders you cannot access even with administrative rights on the system. This normally happens because there are other users that have higher access rights on the system. These users (e.g. TrustedInstaller) are created by Windows 10 and they own the folder.

You do not currently have permission to access this folder

Fix “You do not currently have permission to access this folder”

When you see the “You do not currently have permission to access this folder” message, you will normally see a ‘Continue’ button with the admin badge. If you aren’t signed in as the admin user, do so and then try to access the folder.

If the Continue button still doesn’t work, you need to take ownership of the folder.

  1. Navigate to the folder that you want to access.
  2. Right-click the folder.
  3. Select Properties from the context menu.
  4. Go to the Security tab.
  5. If your user name is listed, click the Edit button.
  6. Select your user, and enable all permissions for it.
  7. Click Apply (apply to sub-folders and directories if prompted).
  8. You will now be able to access the folder.

Username not listed

It is possible that your username is not listed on the Security tab of the folder’s properties window. In that case, you will have to manually add your user to it.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box.
  2. Enter two periods and tap Enter to open the Users folder.
  3. Note the name of your user folder.
  4. Navigate to the folder you want to access.
  5. Right-click the folder and select Properties from the context menu. 
  6. Go to the Security tab.
  7. Click Advanced.
  8. Click ‘Change’ next to the Owner field.
  9. In the window that opens, enter your username in the Enter the object name to select box.
  10. Click Check Names.
  11. Click OK and then Apply.
  12. You now own the folder and can access it.

Conclusion

Restricted folder access is an extra layer of protection to keep users from tampering with files they shouldn’t be tampering with. If you use this method and have to change ownership from TrustedInstaller, make sure you change the ownership back. TrustedInstaller is an important, high-level user needed to keep the system running smoothly. If you do not return ownership, you may run into problems down the line. 

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