Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error message

Some Windows errors are very commonly encountered. You may encounter them every once in a while. One such error you may come across while opening a .exe file is :

Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file

This error message can be related to files like svchost.exe, regsvr.exe, spoolsv32.exe, taskmgr.exe, sys.exe, rundll.exe, explorer.exe, csrss.exe, winupdate.exe or even any .exe program file of a software you may have installed on your Windows computer.

Maybe these system files have got corrupted due to malicious infections and maybe your antivirus may have deleted the system file because your PC was infected by one of the malicious programs – the reasons could be many. If its a system file that is creating a problem, running the System File Checker might be a good idea.

Here are a few troubleshooting steps you may try to fix the error. But you will have first to ensure that the file is not in a location that is currently accessible, like maybe a network location or an external drive that is not currently connected to the PC, etc. Also, check that the file has been moved or deleted.

1] Check if you have permissions to open the file. If required Run as administrator and see if it helps. Else you may have to take ownership of the file. You may use our Ultimate Windows Tweaker to do so easily. Ultimate Windows Tweaker will let you add the Take ownership of Files and Folders option easily to even Windows 8.1.

2] If it is a shortcut that you are clicking on to open the file, you may want to check if the target file is still located at the destination. If yes, then maybe the shortcut itself may have got corrupted. Delete it and create a new shortcut.

This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer

3] If the file has been downloaded from the Internet, right click on the file and open Properties.

Under the General tab, towards the bottom you will see classified under Security: This file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer.

Click on Unblock. Click Apply > OK. This should help.

4] You may also want to check if your antivirus software is blocking the file for some reasons. If you are convinced that the file is safe, temporarily disable your security software and then try to open the file.

Hope something helps you!

Moved from WVC

Posted by on , in Category General with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Bani

    Doesn’t help. Trying to install flash player, and it’s still saying the same thing.

  2. PaniniLuncher

    Thank you, sir! I got exactly the problem you described, and following your guide – I was able to find the root cause and resolve it. It was my Kaspersky antivirus that somehow out of nowhere identified some of my often used applications (eclipse.exe, paint.exe, etc.) as ‘untrusted’ and marked them as ‘blocked’ from running. I resolved it by using the antivirus management tool to remove these apps from the ‘blocked’ list. I’m contacting Kaspersky support to have them explain why out of nowhere the antivirus would put some of my apps into the blocked list. Regards. (PL)

  3. Joe

    Dear PaniniLuncher…
    I’m having the same problem – were you able to unblock it from Kaspersky?

  4. d3toxx

    corrupt user account after fresh installs you will need to follow this guide( ) to activate the built in admin account then remove and re add the user account you want to use.i found option 3 the best.

  5. Ti?u ?t Ngô

    My computer can not unblock item.

  6. V

    I have tried everything on several websites and problem still exists. I can’t open any files unless I right click and run as administrator. I am an administrator and nothing seems wrong with access rights. No viruses or malware, they were cleaned out.

  7. don

    same problem with mine

  8. Mine is the reverse – I can’t run administrator programs, but everything else works : / literally only just became a problem now : (

  9. Mich

    Thanks, worked for me

  10. Muhammed

    go to this location and delete the exe file, it will resolve the issue “c:winshellwinseven.exe”

  11. Vinnie

    This is getting like how UNIX systems work requiring an execute permission to run an app. That worked for me when I enabled execute.

  12. Huib

    try this: type > differentname.exe
    This creates a brandnew version of your executable. You can run that copy without any issues!

  13. Huib

    eg: from the commandprompt type: type tcpview.exe > tcpview2.exe to create a different executable file named tcpview2.exe. Then run that second file.

  14. Simon

    I´ve got the same problem… If i start any program on my systam it does not matter wich it says.. Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item. I dont know what i need to do…

  15. rgetlinkz

    long_path..tool can be used to solve this type of problem

  16. Jenna

    Okay, hello. I’m trying to download a game and when the bar at the bottom pops up, it says filed either moved or deleted or unable to download. Why can’t I download this? When I hit run, it pops up in a box of my downloads but wont do anything. Please help.

  17. stellamcln

    Awesome torrent , you could search key words @@@”windows 8.1 key sale” @@@ on bing? ,it’s quite convenient ,thx !

  18. KG83

    Get a Mac! Problems solved. I will never ever buy a windows based PC again.

  19. blueindia

    thanks for ur help.I followed ur instruction and it worked.

  20. BobsYourUncle

    Hi Guys. I had the same problem. It was my antivirus. It blocked the execution of certain applications on my desktop. Check the settings on your antivirus.

  21. mat

    while opeaning word file i got error that windows cannot acess the specific………

  22. mat

    please help me

  23. Vladislav Georgiev

    I did it by opening the file with winrar then extract the files in a folder and run it from that folder 🙂

  24. Katrina

    Long Path Tool is a handy tool in fixin this problem I highly recommend this.

  25. neha kedia

    hey I too have got the same problem as urs bt m not able to fix it can you pl help me out…..

  26. dan

    I disabled antivirus! Bingo worked!

  27. MrMarcand100 .

    From an administrator standpoint, things are blocked for a reason. Maybe the software is malicious and sending out information your company would not want sent. If you are managed user, and you find a work-around by disabling your AV software, my advice would be to turn your AV software back on, and contact your system admins to find out why it is being blocked. Maybe the version you have is not the best one you should be using to do your job. Maybe the version you are using was compromised.

  28. rahul

    it doesn’t help.

    i am not using any antivirus,
    by checking the properties, i have permissions to access the item because am the admin,
    ms word and ms powerpoint is not working. ms exel is working
    and notepad is also not working.. all these are worked till sterday..

    plz help

  29. anba2

    For me many exe files didn’t work, such as Explorer, Control Panel etc. I finally deleted all files (not including folders) from C:UsersAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows from a different admin. user. I logged back in, and everything is good again!

  30. Mike Snead

    My issue was caused by an invalid association needed to open the file. It was corrupted as seen by selecting shift-“Open as”. I simply changed it to a valid one.

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