Windows cannot access the specified device [Path or file]

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as a front-end web developer. Read more
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  • Many users reported Windows cannot access the specified device error message.
  • If you’re unable to access your files, perhaps specialized recovery software might help.
  • Certain applications can cause this issue as well, so you might want to disable them.
  • To fix explorer.exe Windows cannot access the specified device error, make sure that you have the necessary permissions.
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When you use, download or install different devices or files, they can be opened right away, and sometimes you might get Windows cannot access the specified device message.

Fixing this problem is simpler than you think, and in this article we’re going to show you a couple of solutions that will surely fix this problem for you.


How can I fix the Windows cannot access the specified device error?

1. Recover deleted, corrupted or removed file

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Sometimes, you may have deleted or removed the file, or maybe, your file is corrupted. As a consequence, this will activate the Windows cannot access the specified device error.

Regardless if you have accidentally deleted that file, or maybe you have lost it after a computer crash, these situations can be solved easily with a professional third-party software.

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2. Disable your antivirus

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager.
  2. Go to Startup tab and select your antivirus.
  3. Choose the Disable option.
  4. Verify if the issue has been solved.  

The antivirus must protect your computer from various viruses and malware. There are instances when your antivirus might falsely notify you that one of your files is a virus, and block you from accessing it.

This solution requires you to disable your antivirus so that the message Windows cannot access the specified device can disappear.

After solving the error, enable the antivirus again to keep your computer protected from threats.


3. Gain permissions for your file

  1. Right-click on your file and select Properties.
  2. Navigate to Security, and click on your account, and then choose Edit.
  3. Remove all checks from Deny, and click OK.
  4. Verify if the error has disappeared.

If you don’t have the permissions to access a file, then you will encounter the message Windows cannot access the specified device

Use this solution to fix the permissions and gain access to your desired file.


4. Unblock the file

  1. Right-click on the file you need to access.
  2. Select Properties.

  3. Navigate to the General tab.
  4. Verify the option This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.
  5. Check Unblock on the right small box beside that option.windows cannot access the specified device path or file desktop apps
  6. Click OK.

In order to protect your computer, sometimes, Windows will block certain files. Similar to antivirus, sometimes your operating system will offer you false notifications.

Then, it will block whichever file you want to access or modify. Use the above-mentioned steps to unblock your file.


The Windows cannot access the specified device is an error that affected many users and maybe you as well.

The previous section contains tested solutions to this issue, so be sure to try them and leave us an answer in our comments section.

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