Windows 11 Access Denied: 6 Ways to Get Full Permissions

Taking full control of the inaccessible folder or file should fix this

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • When attempting to access particular folders or apps, the Access is denied notice may display, interfering with your work.
  • The first thing you should do is alter the directory's owner.
  • Your antivirus software could be the source of this issue, so check it out.
access denied window access denied windows 11

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The Windows 11 Access is denied error prevents you from uninstalling or accessing particular directories on your computer. The reasons for the error vary from issues with your PC to permission and setting problems.

Fortunately, it is not the most difficult problem to solve, requiring just a few tweaks on your PC.

Why do I keep getting access denied?

There are various reasons you can be getting the Access is denied error on Windows 11. Below are some of the factors that can cause it:

  • Lack of permission: If a folder or external hard drive is showing the Access is denied prompt on Windows 11, it might be because you lack the right permission to view open the file. You need to take full control of the folder to circumvent this.
  • Lack of ownership: This error can also show up if you don’t have ownership rights to the folder. So, you need to take ownership of the folder or file and restart your PC to fix this.
  • Encryption: If a folder is encrypted on one user account, you can’t open it from another. So, you need to change your account to the admin or provide the admin password to access it.
  • Antivirus interference: Sometimes, your antivirus might deem a safe folder or file as dangerous due to some of its properties. This can lead to this error. You need to disable or remove the security software and switch to one of the best antivirus for Windows 11.

How do I fix the Access denied error in Windows 11?

Before making changes to your PC, it is advised to disable your antivirus. This is because it might be flagging the folder or file, thereby preventing it from opening.

If this does not solve the issue, you can now proceed to the fixes below:

1. Use the Registry Editor

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type regedit, and click the OK button.
    regedit
  2. Navigate to the path below in the left pane: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services/LanmanWorkstation/Parameterspath
  3. Now, right-click on any space in the right pane and select New > DWORD (32-Bit) Value.
    new
  4. Enter AllowInsecureGuestAuth as the name of the new entry.
    allow
  5. Finally, double-click the new entry and set the Value data to 1 and click OK.
    value data

If you are getting the Windows 11 Access is denied error even as an administrator, the steps above will help remove all restrictions that might be causing the issue.

2. Use Computer Management

  1. Right-click on the Start button and choose Computer Management.
    comp management windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Expand Local Users and Groups, then open the Users folder.
    local users windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Right-click on Administrator, then tap on Properties.
    admin prop windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  4. Uncheck the box next to Account is disabled and press the Apply and the OK button in the bottom side.
    disabled acc windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  5. Click on the Groups folder in the left side, right-click on Administrator, then tap on Properties.
    group admin windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  6. Click on the Add button.
    add windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  7. Enter the word test in the opened window, click on Check Names, then press the Apply and the OK button in the current window as well as in the Properties window.
    test windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

3. Set your account as administrator

  1. Press the Windows key + R then enter control userpasswords2. Lastly, click the OK button.
    control userpassword windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. The User Accounts window will now appear. Check the box next to Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer, then select your account and click on the Properties button below it.
    user prop windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Navigate to the Group Membership tab. Select Administrator and click Apply and OK.
    admin choice windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

Restart your computer once you’ve completed the procedures outlined above in order to determine whether or not the problem has been resolved.

4. Check your permissions

  1. Locate the problematic directory, right-click on it, and choose Properties from the menu.
    new properties windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Next, navigate to the Security tab and click the Edit button.
    security tab  windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Select your user name from the list and make sure that you check the box next to Full control for Allow column in the Permissions sections, then click OK.
    allow permission  windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

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This is a rather simple solution, but if your user name isn’t on the list you’ll have to add it manually and then change its permissions.

5. Enable the hidden Administrator account

  1. Press the Windows key + S , type in cmd, and right-click on the most relevant result to Run as administrator.
    run as admin windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. When Command Prompt starts, run the command below. By doing so you’ll unlock the administrator account:net user administrator /active: yes
    net user addmin windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Now log off of your account and switch to the newly enabled Administrator account. From there you should be able to access your files without any problems.
  4. After you’re done using the Administrator account, go back to your main account and start Command Prompt as administrator again as we did in the first step. Now enter this command to disable the Administrator account:net user administrator /active: no 
    net user addmin no windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

Keep in mind that after switching back to your main account, the Windows 11 Access is denied issue might persist. If needed, you can use the Administrator account to make the necessary changes to your system and fix the problem.

6. Take ownership of the file

6.1. Take ownership via properties

  1. Locate the problematic folder, right-click on it, and choose Properties from the menu.
    new properties windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  2. Navigate to the Security tab and click the Advanced button.
    advanced secuirty windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  3. Locate the Owner section at the top and click on Change.
    change owner windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working
  4. In the Enter the object name to select field, enter Administrators or enter your user name.
  5. Now, click the Check Names button, then tap the OK button to save the changes made.
  6. Check the box next to Replace all child object permission entries with ingeritable permission entries from this object and click Apply and OK to save changes.
    replace all child windows 11 lock screen slideshow not working

After applying these steps, the Windows 11 Access is denied error should be solved.

6.2. Take ownership via Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + S in then enter cmd, and click on the most relevant result.
    cmd search   access denied windows 11
  2. Type or paste the following commands and press Enter after each. Note that you need to replace the path_to_folder in the commands with the correct path of the inaccesbile folder.
    takeown /f "path_to_folder" /r /d y icacls "path_to_folder" /grant administrators:F /T
    takeown cmd    access denied windows 11

After running these two commands, you should have full access to them. Reboot your computer once you’ve completed the procedures outlined above in order to determine whether or not the problem has been resolved.

The Windows 11 Access is denied error can be frustrating as it can stop you from opening important files. But with the fixes in this guide, you should be able to fix it for good.

In the same vein, if you want to know how to fix Error 5 Access is denied on Windows 11, check our detailed guide for the steps to follow.

Feel free to let us know which procedure worked for you in the comments area below.

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