Article ID: 308421 - View products that this article applies to.
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INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to take ownership of a file or a folder to which you are denied access.

If you must access a file or a folder that you do not have rights to, you must take ownership of that file or folder. When you do this, you replace the security permissions that were originally created for the file or folder.

More information

Prerequisites

Log on as an administrator

You must be logged on to Windows as an administrator in order to change security permissions for a file or a folder. If the computer is your personal computer, you are likely already logged on with an administrator account. If the computer is part of a network at work, you might have to ask the system administrator for help. To verify that you are logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/admin

Start Windows XP Home Edition in safe mode

If you are running Windows XP Home Edition, you must start the computer in safe mode, and then log on with an account that has administrative rights in order to access the Security tab. Access to the Security tab is required in order to change security permission. If you are running Windows XP Professional, you do not have to start the computer in safe mode. For more information about how to start Windows XP in safe mode, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
304449 How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP

Disable Simple File Sharing in Windows XP Professional

If you are using Windows XP Professional, you must disable Simple File Sharing. By default, Windows XP Professional uses Simple File Sharing when it is not joined to a domain. For additional information about how to do this, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307874 How to disable simplified sharing and set permissions on a shared folder in Windows XP

To take ownership of a file or a folder

How to take ownership of a file

You must have ownership of a protected file in order to access it. If another user has restricted access and you are the computer administrator, you can access the file by taking ownership.

To take ownership of a file, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the file that you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
  3. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
  4. In the Name list, click Administrator, or click the Administrators group, and then click OK.

    The administrator or the administrators group now owns the file.
To change the permissions on the file that you now own, follow these steps:
  1. Click Add.
  2. In the Enter the object names to select (examples) list, type the user or group account that you want to have access to the file. For example, type Administrator.
  3. Click OK.
  4. In the Group or user names list, click the account that you want, and then select the check boxes of the permissions that you want to assign that user.
  5. When you are finished assigning permissions, click OK.
  6. You can now access the file.

How to take ownership of a folder

You must have ownership of a protected folder in order to access it. If another user has restricted access and you are the computer administrator, you can access the folder by taking ownership.

To take ownership of a folder, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the folder that you want to take ownership of, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the Security tab, and then click OK on the Security message (if one appears).
  3. Click Advanced, and then click the Owner tab.
  4. In the Name list, click your user name, or click Administrator if you are logged in as Administrator, or click the Administrators group. If you want to take ownership of the contents of the folder, select the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects check box.
  5. Click OK, and then click Yes when you receive the following message:
    You do not have permission to read the contents of directory folder name. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?
    All permissions will be replaced if you click Yes.

    Note folder name is the name of the folder that you want to take ownership of.
  6. Click OK, and then reapply the permissions and security settings that you want for the folder and its contents.

NEXT STEPS

If these methods did not work for you, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find other solutions to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web sites provide include the following:
  • Searchable Knowledge Base: Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
  • Solution Centers: View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
  • Other Support Options: Use the Web to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.
If you continue to have problems, you might want to contact Support:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus

References

For additional information about file and folder permissions, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
161275 Interaction of file and folder security on NTFS volumes

Properties

Article ID: 308421 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 6.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Keywords: 
kbacwsurvey kbhowtomaster KB308421

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