You may see An error occurred while applying security information error message while performing different actions on your computer, like accessing, moving, deleting files or folders, etc. In some cases, this error can also occur while changing the permissions of a file or folder. This error can occur with any file or folder; even the Recycle Bin can display this error message sometimes. In this article, we will discuss solutions to fix this error.
An error occurred while applying security information
As we have explained above, “An error occurred while applying security information” error can occur in different scenarios. You may also encounter this error while installing a program on your system. Here, we will cover the following scenarios.
- An error occurred while applying security information to Recycle Bin
- An error occurred while applying security information to Pagefile.sys
- An error occurred while applying attributes to the file
- An error occurred while applying security information, there is not enough space on the disk
- An error occurred while applying security information, Authenticated users is not a valid user or group
The fixes that we describe here apply to all the above-mentioned error messages. However, some apply to only specific error messages.
- Repair Recycle Bin
- Disable the Read Only attribute
- Take ownership of the file or folder
- Is the file or the folder encrypted?
- Move the file or the folder to another location
- Add Everyone as a user
- Create another user account or enable the hidden Administrator account
- Disable your antivirus temporarily
- Use the Command Prompt
- Try in the Clean Boot state
- Try in Safe Mode
- Download the latest version or an older version of the software
- Use the Disk Cleanup or another similar utility
- Reset your PC
1] Repair Recycle Bin
If this error occurs with the Recycle Bin, there is a possibility that the Recycle Bin is corrupted. Repairing the Recycle Bin can help fix this problem.
You may also see this error due to the permission issues. In such a case, you can take ownership of the Recycle Bin folder and then try again. By default, th owner of the Recycle Bin is SYSTEM. Therefore, make SYSTEM the owner of the Recycle Bin after you complete your task.
2] Disable the Read Only attribute
Check the attributes of the file or folder. If the Read Only attribute is enabled, disable it and then try again. See if you get the same error message this time.
The following steps will help you disable the Read Only attribute for your file or folder:
- Right-click on the file or folder.
- Select Properties.
- Under the General tab, uncheck the Read-only checkbox.
- Click Apply and then click OK.
3] Take ownership of the file or folder
Most commonly, this error occurs due to permission issues. Therefore, taking ownership of the file or the folder will fix this error. While taking ownership, do not forget to select the following two checkboxes:
- Replace owner on subcontainers and objects
- Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object
4] Is the file or the folder encrypted?
If the file or folder is encrypted, you may also get this error. To check this, follow the instructions provided below:
- Right-click on the file or the folder.
- Select Properties.
- Click Advanced under the General tab.
- Uncheck the Encrypt contents to secure data checkbox.
- Click OK to save the changes.
Now, check if you can change the permissions of the file or the folder or not.
5] Move the file or the folder to another location
If the issue still persists, move the file or the folder to another location and then try again. Some users reported that the issue was fixed after moving the file to the Desktop.
6] Add Everyone as a user
The next fix that you can try is adding Everyone as a user. The following instructions will guide you on this:
- Open the Properties of the file or the folder.
- Go to the Security tab.
- Click on the Edit button.
- Now, click Add.
- Type Everyone and click on the Check Names button.
- Click OK.
After performing the above steps, the Everyone user will be added to the Groups or user names list. Now, select the Everyone user from the list and select the Full Control checkbox under the Allow column. After that, click Apply and then click OK.
7] Create another user account or enable the hidden Administrator account
The problem may also be associated with your user account. You can check this by creating another user account and making it an administrator account. Now, sign in to your system with another Administrator account and check if the error occurs in this user account or not. If yes, there is a possibility that your user account is corrupted.
Apart from this, you can also enable the hidden or built-in Administrator account. Now, sign in with this hidden Administrator account and see if the problem persists in that account. If no, apply the changes to the file or the folder and then sign in back to your personal account. Now, you can disable the hidden Administrator account.
8] Disable your antivirus temporarily
Sometimes, antivirus causes permission issues or creates problems while moving or deleting the file(s). Temporarily disable your antivirus and then try again. See if the error occurs this time or not. If the error does not occur, add that file or folder to your antivirus exception list or contact your antivirus support for help.
9] Use the Command Prompt
You can also use the Command Prompt to take ownership of the file or the folder. To do this, you have to launch the Command Prompt as an Administrator.
After launching the Administrator Command prompt, type the following commands and hit Enter after typing each command.
takeown /f "path of the folder" /r /d y icacls "path of the folder" /grant administrators:F /T
In the above commands. type the correct folder under quotations. You can copy the entire folder path from the File Explorer address bar.
10] Try in the Clean Boot state
It might be possible that a background application is causing the conflict due to which Windows is displaying this error message. You can check this in the Clean Boot State. Start your system in the Clean Boot state and then check if the issue persists.
To identify the problematic third-party background application or service, you have to disable some startup apps and services in the Clean Boot state and then restart your system. Repeat this process until you find the culprit.
11] Try in Safe Mode
If you cannot access, delete, or move the file or the folders due to this error, we suggest you perform these actions in Safe Mode. If Windows is showing this error while changing the folder permissions, you can change the folder permissions in Safe Mode.
12] Download the latest version or an older version of the software
Some users received the error message “An error occurred while applying security settings. Authenticated Users is not a valid user or group” while installing software on their systems. In this case, the problem may be with the software package. Therefore, install the latest or older version of the software or contact the software developer for support.
13] Use the Disk Cleanup or another similar utility
If the error message says that there is not enough space on the disk, run the Disk Cleanup utility to free up some space on the disk. You can also delete the unnecessary files to free up some space.
You can also use the free disk space analyzer software like WinDirStat to know which files are consuming the most space on your disk.
14] Reset your PC
If none of the fixes mentioned above worked, reset your PC without deleting the data.
An error occurred while applying security information, Failed to enumerate objects in the container
The error message Failed to enumerate objects in the container usually occurs when you try to change the file or the folder permissions and you do not have enough rights to do so. In such a case, you can take ownership of the file or the folder to fix this error. In addition to this, you can also enable the built-in Administrator account.
An error occurred while applying security information to Recycle Bin
If you see this error message while accessing the Recycle Bin or changing its permissions, your Recycle Bin might have been corrupted. Repairing the Recycle Bin can help.
An error occurred while applying security information to Pagefile.sys
You may encounter this error while taking ownership of C drive. The Pagefile.sys is located on the C drive and may cause this error. From the error message in the above screenshot, it is clear that the Pagefile.sys is preventing you from changing the permissions of the C drive or taking its ownership because it is being used by another program.
To fix this, start your system in Clean Boot. This will disable all third-party background applications. Or, you can boot in Safe Mode and then try again.
An error occurred applying attributes to the file
The “An error occurred applying attributes to the file” error can also occur due to permission issues. If you encounter this error, you can apply some fixes like taking ownership of a file or folder, changing the file or folder permissions, disabling the file encryption, etc.
An error occurred while applying security information, there is not enough space on the disk
The error message clearly indicates that there is not enough space on the disk. Therefore, free up some space on your disk and then try again.
An error occurred while applying security information, Authenticated users is not a valid user or group
This error usually occurs while installing a program or software on a Windows computer. If you see this error message, it means that the particular user (as shown in the error message is missing from your system). Therefore, to fix this error, you have to create that user. To do so, execute the following command in the Command Prompt.
net localgroup /add "Authenticated Users"
The above command will add the Authenticated Users to your system. If you see another user name in place of the Authenticated Users in the error message, replace the Authenticated Users in the above command with that user name.
If this does not work, you can use other fixes mentioned above in this article.
That’s it. I hope this helps.
How do I access a folder that is access denied?
If your access to a folder is denied, it means that you do not have the required rights. First of all, make sure that you are signed in to your system with an Administrator account. If despite that you are not able to access the folder, take its ownership.
How do I remove permissions from settings?
You can remove permissions from your Windows 11/10 Settings. Open Settings and go to Privacy & security. Here, you can manage all the permissions on your Windows 11/10 computer.