How To Fix “You Don’t Have Permission To Open This File” Error In Windows 10 / 11

If you recently upgraded your OS to Windows 10, you may comes across an error “You don’t have permission to open this file. Contact the file owner or an administrator to obtain permission” while accessing a file or folder. This message means you cannot access/delete/rename files or folders.

So, what can be the reason behind this error? It could be either that a user or group got accidentally deleted from the “Group or user names” list, a specific “Deny” function got added by mistake to the group or the user, or it could be because there’s a disparity between the NTFS and share permissions. But, the good news is, it can be fixed. Let’s see how.


Solution: Through File Explorer


Step 1: Press the Windows key + E together on your keyboard to open File Explorer. Now, click on This PC shortcut on the left side and select the C Drive (OS (C:)) on the right.


Win + E File Explorer This Pc C Drive


Step 2: Here we want to open the Recovery folder in the C drive, but, it denies access to the folder. For you, it can be any other folder.


C Drive Recovery Access Denied


Step 3: To change the permissions, right-click on the folder you want to open (for us, it’s the Recovery folder here), and select Properties from the context menu.


C Drive Recovery Access Denied


Step 4: In the Recovery Properties dialogue box, click on the Security tab, and then click on the Advanced button.


Recovery Properties Security Tab Advanced


Step 5: In the Advanced Security Settings for Recovery window, click on the Change link next to Unable to display current owner.


Advanced Security Settings For Recovery Change


Step 6: In the Select User or Group dialogue box, click on the Advanced button.


Select User Or Group Advanced


Step 7: In the next window, click on the Find Now button. Now, under the Search Results field, look for your User Account, select it and press the OK button to save the changes.


Find Now Search Results Select User Account Ok


Step 8: Next, press OK again to save the changes and proceed.


Press Ok Again To Save Changes


Step 9: You are now back to the Advanced Security Settings for Recovery. You can see the Owner name as your your User Account name. Click Apply and OK.


Owner Changed To Current User Account Apply Ok


That’s about it. You are done changing the Owner permissions and you can now open the file easily, without any error message.

5 thoughts on “How To Fix “You Don’t Have Permission To Open This File” Error In Windows 10 / 11”

  1. You are a life saver. Thank you. I brought in some files from a windows 10 machine onto a windows 7 machine, only to find that when I went back to windows 10, those files that I had edited on windows 7 could not open. They lost the “everyone” file access.

    Thank you so much for your help, you should be very proud.

  2. Excellent. Restored access to all folders by adding myself as a user and by adding SYSTEM as a user. This is the only web article I found that showed me exactly what to do step by step.

  3. a) Right-click on the file which you’re unable to access and select Properties.

    b) Click on ‘Security’ tab and under ‘Group or user names’ click on ‘Edit’.

    c) Click on ‘Add’ and type ‘everyone’.

    d) Click on ‘Check names’ and then click ‘OK’.

    e) Select ‘everyone’ and under ‘Allow’ select ‘Full control’ and click on ‘Apply’ and Click ‘Ok’.

  4. i tried to use your walkthrough to change
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Adobe Desktop Common\AppsPanel\Updater\Adobe Application Updater.exe
    but it didn’t work
    by the way, you need to remove the word ‘easily’ from this sentence: ” … and you can now open the file easily, without any error message “

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