- Sometimes, Windows 10 can be overzealous when it comes to security and privacy features.
- If your OS insists you need to provide administrator permission to delete folders, here are some quick fixes to apply.
- Perhaps it's a good old access denied warning that prevents you from erasing your files? We got you covered as well - check out this File Deletion Guide.
- Don't be shy to explore our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub as well.
The error You’ll need to provide administrator permission to delete this folder appears mostly due to the security and privacy features of the Windows 10 operating system.
Some actions require users to provide administrator permission to delete, copy or even rename files or change settings. Such permission prevents unauthorized users but also external sources like scripts from accessing system data.
Many Windows users have reported that they have seen this error. So do not worry, in this article you will find some valuable solutions to solve your problem.
How do I get administrator permission to delete folders?
- Take ownership of the folder
- Use third party software
- Disable User Account Control
- Activate the built-in Administrator account
- Use SFC
- Use Safe Mode
1. Take ownership of the folder
This is the easiest method and may suit most of the people in solving this error. In order to do this, you need to:
- Navigate to the folder you want to delete, right-click it and select Properties
- Select the Security tab and click the Advanced button
- Click on Change located at the front of the Owner file and click on the Advanced button
- In the Select user or group page, click on Advanced in order to select which accounts are available
- Click on Find Now and then select the user to whom you wish to transfer the ownership to
- Right click on the folder and click on Properties
- Navigate to the Security tab and click on Advanced
- Under the Permission tab, click on Add and then click on Select a Principal in order to add your account
- Click on Advanced and then click on the Find Now button to list all the accounts to whom permission can be granted
- Locate your account from the list and click on Ok and save changes
2. Use third party software
You can always try to use third-party software to delete a file in order to delete corrupted files that Windows cannot delete.
One particular software with excellent file erasure capabilities that is both scalable and manageable is BitRaser.
By securely erasing confidential data from all devices (running on Windows and Mac as well), servers, and partitions, this privacy safeguarding software meets all your media sanitization requirements.
Using it is as simple as a breeze too: all you need to do is download the .EXE file, install the tool, select the items you want to erase and Delete.
Any data beyond the scope of recovery can permanently be removed with these simple steps starting from files and folders that require permission from administrators to make changes, to app traces and browsing history.
Let’s quickly look at its key features:
- Permanent and secure erasure of files beyond recovery
- Schedule erasure tasks at regular intervals and erasure of selected files
- Prevent unauthorized erasure through password protection
- PCI DSS compliant reports (for file-level data erasure requirements)
- Digitally-signed certificates of proof of erasure (for audit purposes)
- Wipe media, servers, partitions, app traces, browser history, files, folders, unused data from drives and more
- Simultaneous erasure of multiple files with pre-scheduling options
BitRaserErase confidential files and more securely and permanently with this excellent privacy safeguarding software!
3. Disable User Account Control
If you took ownership of the folder but it still cannot be deleted, the next thing you can try is to turn off User Account Control as it sometimes might block permission.
Make sure to turn it back on once you have deleted the file:
- Search UAC in the Start search box and then press Enter to navigate to the Change User Account Control settings window
- At the bottom of the settings move the slider to Never notify
- Restart your computer
Note: Once you complete your Task change the slider to Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer.
4. Activate the built-in Administrator account
If the solutions described above did not help you solve the problem, the next thing you should try is to enable the built-in administrator account:
- Type in CMD in the search box and then right-click to Run as administrator
- In Command Prompt, copy and paste the following command:
net user administrator /active: yes
- Type the following command:
net user administrator <Password>, and then press ENTER, where <Password> tag should be replaced with the password that you want to set to the administrator account
- Restart your computer
5. Use SFC
SFC (System File Checker) is a built-in Windows tool that you can use to scan and repair corrupted system files. If system files are missing or corrupted, then Windows may not behave as expected and this might also be the reason for which you cannot delete the file:
- Go to Start and type cmd
- Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator
- Type sfc /scannow and wait for the scanning process to complete
- Restart your computer
6. Use Safe Mode
Another good suggestion is trying to delete the folder in Safe Mode:
- Open Settings and click on Update&Security
- Click on Recovery and then under Advanced Startup click the Restart now button
- Click on Troubleshoot and then go to Advanced options
- Press the Restart button and on Startup settings press F4 to enable Safe mode
- While in Safe Mode, locate the file that you want to delete and try to perform the operation
- Restart your computer to exit Safe mode
If you’re interested in how to add Safe Mode to the boot menu in windows 10, check out this article.
We hope that this article helped you solve your problem. If you have other alternative solutions, do not hesitate to use the comments section below.
Also, leave there any other questions you may have.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.