Windows 10s file system can be used to to assign permissions to specific groups and users to access files and folders on a computer.

When youre signed in to your Windows 10 account, you get full control over the files and folders you create, sometimes you may also need access to other files. It could be files from an old account from a user thats no longer around, or maybe some system files you need to tweak edit to customize certain aspects of the operating system.

If you dont have specific permissions, Windows 10 will deny you access. But if your account has administrative privileges, you can take ownership of certain files and folders on your computer.

In this guide, well walk you through the steps to take ownership of files and folders on your Windows 10 PC without the need of a third-party tool.

How to take ownership of files and folders

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Browse and find the file or folder you want to have full access.
  3. Right-click it, and select Properties.
  4. Click the Security tab to access the NTFS permissions.
  5. Click the Advanced button.

  6. On the Advanced Security Settings page, you need to click the Change link, in the Owners field.

  7. Click the Advanced button.
  8. On the Select User or Group page, click the Find Now button.
  9. From the search result, select your user account, and click OK.

  10. On the Select User or Group page, click OK.
  11. Click Apply.
  12. Click OK.

  13. Click OK again.
  14. Click OK one more time to complete this task.

Its important to note that if youre taking ownership of a folder, you can check the Replace ownership on subcontainers and object option in the Advanced Security Settings page to take control of the subfolders inside of the folder.

Now youll need to grant full access control to your account, to do this use the following steps:

  1. Right-click the file or folder and select Properties.
  2. Click the Security tab to access the NTFS permissions.
  3. Click the Advanced button.
  4. Under the Permissions tab, click Add.

  5. Click Select a principal to add your user account.
  6. On the Select User or Group page, click the Find Now button.
  7. From the search result, select your user account, and click OK.
  8. On the Select User or Group page, click OK.

  9. On Permission Entry, check the Full control option.
  10. Click OK.

  11. Click OK.
  12. Click Apply.
  13. Click OK.
  14. Click OK to close the file or folder properties to complete the task.

Its important to note that if youre taking ownership of a folder, you can check the Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants with inheritable permissions for this object option in the Advanced Security Settings page to replace the subfolders permissions with the settings from the parent folder.

More Windows 10 resources

For more help articles, coverage, and answers on Windows 10, you can visit the following resources:

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