Fix Cannot access WindowsApps Folder in Windows 10 / 11

Are you unable to access the WindowsApp folder in your Windows 10 & 11 PC despite administrator privileges? Then you firstly would need to know what is WindowsApps folder. WindowsApps is a hidden folder in Windows that contains all the apps and files downloaded from the Store. When moving programs to another partition in your system, another WindowsApps folder gets created in that specific drive.


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But the problem arises when you try to move the apps back to the main drive. This is because, Windows wants to keep the folder and does not allow you to delete them. The reason you are not allowed to access this folder is because it belongs to Trustedinstaller and is allowed only for system users and no one else.

So, it’s recommended not to modify the folder permission and change the owner for the folder there are any apps installed here. You also cannot delete the folder that’s inside the Windows partition and you will rather comes across an error. Then, how do you access the WindowsApps folder and delete its contents? Let’s see how.

 

Solution: By Owning the Folder and then Delete

Step 1: Press Win + E hotkey together on your keyboard to open the File Explorer window.

Step 2: Go to the left side and click on the This PC shortcut. Now, on the right side of the pane, click on the C drive.

 

File Explorer This Pc C Drive

 

 

Step 3: Navigate to the below path to reach the WindowsApps folder:

C:\Program Files

 

File Explorer This Pc C Drive Program Files Windows Apps

 

*Note – Since WindowsApps is a hidden folder, you must unhide all hidden files. Just go to windows search box and then search file explorer options in taskbar search. Now, click on file explorer options to open it.


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File Explorer Options Min

 

Now, Click on View tab. Then , Select Show hidden files, Folders and drives option and click on  Apply and OK.

Show Hidden Files Min

 

Step 4: Right-click on the WindowsApps folder and select Properties from the right-click menu.

 

Windowsapps Right Click Properties

 

Step 5: In the Properties window, select the Security tab and click on the Advanced tab.

 

Windowsaapps Properties Security Advanced

 

Step 6: In the Advanced Security Settings window, under the Permissions tab, click on Continue.

Step 7: Next, go to the Owner section and press the Change link.

 

Advanced Security Settings Owner Change

 

Step 8: In the Select User or Group window, go to the Enter the object name to select field and add you user name.

Press the Check Names button and click OK to confirm.

 

Select User Or Group Enter The Object Name To Select Add Name Check Names Ok

 

Step 9: You will be back to the Advanced Security Settings window. Here, go to the Owner section again and check the box next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects.

Press Apply and then OK to save the changes.

 

Advanced Security Settings Owner Replace Owner On Subcontainers And Objects Apply Ok

 

Step 10: Now, in the Advanced Security Settings window, you will see the Owner name has changed to what you added just now.

The Add button also gets highlighted. This will allow you to add permissions.

 

Advanced Security Settings Add

 

Step 11: Next, in the Permissions Entry for WindowsApps page, click on Select a principal link next to Principal.

 

 

Permissions Entry For Windowsapps Principal Select A Principal

 

Step 12: In the Select User or Group window, click on Advanced.

 

Select User Or Group Advanced

 


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Step 13: Next, under Common Queries, click on Find Now.

 

Select User Or Group Common Queries Find Now

 

Step 14: A list of Names will be auto-populated under the Search results. Select the user name you added.

 

Search Results Name Select The User Name You Added

 

Step 15: You will be back in the Permission Entry for WindowsApps page. Here the Basic Permissions section will be highlighted.

Check the box next to Full control and press OK to save the changes.

 

Permissions Entry For Windowsapps Basic Permissions Full Control Check Ok

 

That’s all. You will now have access to WindowsApps folder and can delete the apps and files now.

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13 thoughts on “Fix Cannot access WindowsApps Folder in Windows 10 / 11”

  1. Thank You so MUCH ! Can not ever find solutions from Microsoft, sites are so confused. THANKS !!!

  2. WOW! You’re the only one who’s managed to solve this issue from the many search results I’ve seen on Google. You’re awesome Madhuparna! 🙂

  3. This is not working for me. I can go through the changing owner stage, and it shows that it is changed, but as soon as I apply and close everything it resets. I think it may have something to do with the folder being in my K drive rather than my C drive. It also does not give me the option that you have in step 10. When I look at the permissions, they are not all unlocked. I have looked everywhere to find a solution and cannot. The problem is that I was downloading Forza 5 and did a restart in the process of downloading and now the downloaded files are hidden in that folder and the downloader thinks that I have no space left….

  4. Thank you a lot! Never seen such a great tutorial, you made it very easy even though it is quiet complicated! Best wishes to you

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