Trying to access restricted folders in Windows 11 or Windows 10 but unable to do so? This guide will show you how to access the Access Denied or Restricted folder and its content on Windows 11/10 using different methods.
When trying to access some folders and their content on Windows, you get an Access Denied message. If you are also stuck on one such message and are unable to access your own data, we will try to help you with this article. Here, I will be mentioning possible methods and steps to access restricted folders in Windows 11 and Windows 10. So, let’s get started!
How to Access Denied Restricted Folder in Windows 11/10
- Are you one of the Administrators?
- Take Ownership of Folders
- Check if the folder is Encrypted
- Use a Hidden Administrator Account
- Add account to Administrator Group
- Disable User Account Control
- Run Windows in Safe Mode
- Use Permissions Time Machine
Let’s check out these methods in detail!
1] Are you one of the Administrators?
Restricted folders need administrator privileges to be accessed. So, if you are not logged in to your PC with an administrator account, switch to one. You can also try to access the restricted folder by getting admin privilege or converting your account to an Administrator account.
Related: Access Denied, Error Deleting File or Folder.
2] Take Ownership of Folders
Taking full ownership of files and folders will enable you to access restricted folders in Windows 10. You might be unable to access some folder in case of version update or due to unintentional modifications in user control options. So, take ownership of folders again to access the restricted folders on your PC. To do so, you can follow below steps:
Firstly, right-click on the restricted folder you want to access and then click on the Properties option. Then, go to the Security tab and press the Advanced button.
Now, click on the Change button which is present besides the Owner option.
Next, in the Enter the object name to select section, type your username, and then tap on the Check Names button. The username will be automatically applied in order if you entered the correct username. If all good, click the OK button next.
After that, you need to enable the checkbox named Replace owner on sub containers and objects and then press the OK button.
This should enable you to access the restricted folder that you were unable to access previously.
Related: Remove Access Denied error when accessing files or folders.
3] Check if the folder is Encrypted
If you can’t access a folder on Windows 10, there are chances that it is encrypted. So, check if the folder is encrypted or not to make sure. For that, you can follow the below steps:
Simply right-click the folder and click on the Properties option and then from the General tab, click on the Advanced button. In the Advanced Attributes window, you will see an Encrypt contents to secure data option.
If it is checked, the folder is encrypted. So, now, you need to check with the user who has encrypted the folder and then decrypt it using the right certificates to access the folder.
Read: How to open an Encrypted File if Access Is Denied.
4] Use the system hidden administrator account
You can also use the OS hidden administrator account if you are unable to access some folders using a regular administrator account. It is not accessible normally because of various security measures. You can enable a hidden administrator account and then try to access a restricted folder on Windows 10.
5] Add account to Administrator Group
Adding your account to the administrator group may help you access a restricted folder on Windows 10. In case you want to provide someone else access to the restricted folders, you can add his/her account to the administrator group by following the below steps:
Click Windows + X hotkey and select Computer Management from the pop-up menu. In the Computer Management window, go to the Local Users and Groups > Users menu and double click on your user account from the right panel.
Go to the Member Of tab and press the Add button.
Now, type Administrators in Enter the object names to select field and tap on the Check Names button. If all good, press OK.
Next, select Administrators and then click Apply > Ok option.
Restart PC and see if you can access restricted folders.
6] Temporarily disable User Account Control
User Account Control (UAC) Settings is a handy function that enables you to prevent actions that require admin privilege. Turn off user account access control and see if you’re able to access restricted folders.
Although, this is not advisable as it may enable other regular users on your PC to have access to your restricted content. Use this method if it is very urgent.
7] Restart Windows in Safe Mode
In case a third-party app or antivirus program is blocking you from accessing a particular folder, boot Windows in Safe mode. Safe mode starts your PC with limited features only. You might be able to access the restricted folder in safe mode.
8] Use Permissions Time Machine
You can also use Permissions Time Machine to remove File Access Denied or Access is Denied errors.
Hope this guide helped you find the right method to access restricted folders in Windows 11/10.