- Location is not available pop-up appears sometimes after upgrading your Windows 10 system.
- The Location is not available. Access is denied error might be related to incorrect user permissions.
- There are a few ways to grant permission when seeing a location not available error on Windows 10.
- In case of an upgrade, changing a few Registry Editor keys should fix the location not available issue on Windows 10.
Certain error messages, or rather notifications, are meant to protect your files. But still, being prevented from copying, deleting, modifying, or anything else you want to do with a file or folder because of inadequate permissions is no fun.
It is also the case with the Location is not available error. In this case, Access is denied is displayed as part of the error message. There are other variations of the error such as the ones below:
- Location is not available – parameters are incorrect
- Location is not available – desktop blank and apps deleted and
- Location is not available – CRC error
- Location is not available – the volume does not contain a recognized file system
Curiously, in many of the cases where users have been confronted with this error, they had recently upgraded from an older to a newer version of Windows.
This suggests there is a bug that prevents all your user permissions from migrating to new Windows installs.
What happens is that every time you try to access an affected drive or folder, you are met with the same Location is unavailable, access is denied error message.
So read below to see how to reset user permissions or restore permissions for blocked files and get rid of this error.
How do I fix Location is not available on Windows 10?
1. Use the Command Prompt to reset your user permissions
- Open Command Prompt
- Type cd/users and hit Enter. Find out the folder on your personal computer where the affected file is (C or D, usually).
- Type in cd/ username. Replace the username with the username you use on the PC.
- Now paste this string:
- You will get thisthe following message; press Enter.
C:Users%Your Username%icacls Documents/reset/t/q
- Your permissions for that folder should now be fully reset.
- Repeat the process for all the folders you can’t access because of the error.
2. Manually reset the permissions for all blocked drives
- Locate the drive or folder to which you can’t get access. Right-click on it and choose the Properties option.
- Go down to the Security folder.
- Click the Edit button to manually enable the user and administrator permissions.
- Check the boxes under Allow. Normally, after you check the first, Full Control box, all boxes will be checked automatically. Note, if the Allow box is greyed out, first check the Deny box. The Allow box will instantly be opened for checking. Check the boxes you need to and then uncheck the Deny box you had unchecked.
- Click the OK button, followed by the Apply button.
- The initial Properties (Security) window should still be open. Open it if you had closed it.
- Still in that Security window referred to above, click on Users.
- Then click the Edit button.
- Now, decide what permissions you will give to other people who use the computer. As the administrator, you will have Full Control. It may however not be safe to give every other user the same Full Control. In my case, I only checked the Allow button for the Read & Execute List Folder Contents, and Read permissions. Decide what is best for you and check the respective boxes,
- Click OK, and then Apply.
- Click OK for the warnings that will follow.
3. Tweak the Registry files
- In the search box, type regedit to open the Registry Editor.
- Click View and make sure the Address Bar is turned on.
- Type the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
- It’s possible that you get some keys that in the Data value show D:\Downloads\Downloads.
- Without closing this result, open the D folder.
- Find there the Downloads folder. Check if there’s another Downloads folder (probably empty) inside.
- Go back to the Registry.
- Double-click each key that shows a double Downloads folder.
- For each, set the Value Data to the following and click OK: D:\Downloads
- Close the Registry, then restart the device (don’t shut down completely).
These steps will reset the reference to the Downloads folder to the correct folder on your D drive, and that error should be gone.
4. How to prevent the Location is not available error
It is not enough to fix the error without investigating its causes. That way you will learn how to prevent the error from happening again.
Avoiding doing the things that cause the error in the first place should be enough to prevent them from happening again. Granted, some of these causes may be beyond your control.
Some of the things you should look to avoid doing include;
- Improperly shutting down your computer – Always close all programs and follow the standard Windows shutdown procedure before you plug the PC from its power source.
- The above also applies to your external storage devices – Avoid pulling them out from the USB socket before the computer is done with whatever you were doing on the portable device. Even then, always close the drive first before you remove the device from the computer.
- Recklessly exposing your PC to virus and malware infection – Make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus running on your PC at all times.
- Failing to properly care for your external hard drives and other portable drives – Run a drive repair and data recovery tool if you suspect physical damage to your external hard drive.
- Tinkering with your file systems – Avoid playing around with your file systems and registry settings if you don’t have the requisite skills.
There are several other situations where the ‘location is not available error message may be worded slightly differently. These include:
Some of these may have their own fixes. But there are also specialist software tools you can also use to fix some of the errors.
The fixes we have discussed here should help with the Location is not available – access is denied error. This error is expressly a result of missing or corrupted administrator and user permissions.
Speaking of corrupted files, remember to scan your computer of viruses and malware if you notice this error occurring repeatedly or the computer itself behaving strangely.