Folder doesn’t open on external hard drive? Try this


Teodor Nechita
by Teodor Nechita
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It is a common practice nowadays to use two hard drives on a PC. Usually, you keep the faster one, usually and SSD, as your system drive, while the slower ones can be kept for storage.

However, if you are using a laptop, or both the SSD and the HHD are full, then an external HDD can do the trick. However, with extra space and portability comes a new set of possible issues, some of which users have already started reporting:

I just purchased an HP Pavilion All in One with Windows 10. I have an external hard drive with all my pictures and stores business documents. This is one folder for my Ho Association that I cannot open  . Did change properties on that one, and was able to open, but now cannot opens any subfolders ” you don’t currently have permission to access this folder”.

Since this is a pretty common issue among users, we’ve created a step-by-step guide that will show you exactly what needs to be done to fix it.

How do I get my external hard drive folders to open?

1. Make sure the folders have all the proper permissions

1.1 Change folder permissions manually

  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Open the external hard drive
  3. Locate the folder that gives you the error message
  4. Right-click the whole folder and select Properties
  5. Go to the Security tabsecurity advanced
  6. Select Advanced
  7. Depending on your account type, make sure you give yourself full control over the folderfull permissions
  8. Select Apply
  9. Restart the PC
  10. Try opening the folder again

1.2 Change folder permissions via command line

  1. Press Windows + R
  2. Type in cmd.exe
  3. Type in the following lines, and press Enter after each ones:
    • takeown /f Path_And_File_Name
    • icacls Path_And_File_Name /GRANT ADMINISTRATORS:F
      • The file path changes depending on where your external hard drive and the folder inside it are located.

Looking for an external HDD with lots of space? Check out this article for our top picks


2. Make sure the folder isn’t corrupted

  1. Press Windows + R
  2. Type in cmd.exe
  3. Type in the following line, and press Enter:
    • chkntfs c:
  4. Reboot the PC

By following these steps, your user profile should now gain total control over the entire contents of everything that is in the file path.

As such, you can open, edit and delete whatever file you like without encountering any more error messages. Additionally, folder corruption should no longer prevent you from accessing your files.

Know of a solution to this problem that we may have missed out on? Leave us a message in the comments section below, and we will update the article accordingly.

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