How to Take Ownership of Folders in Windows 10 and 11
If Windows is preventing you from digging into a folder, here’s how to take control of it in Windows 10 and 11.
Windows 11 and 10 include some folders with restricted access by default. When you try to open these folders, a message appears denying you permission to access them. These restricted access folders are even closed to administrator-level users.
These folders are usually restricted for a good reason, but either way, you can still access them. To do this, you will need to own it. Taking ownership of a folder allows you to change object permissions for it. You can take ownership of folders in Windows 11 and 10 with the alternative methods below.
How to Manually Take Ownership of Folders in Windows
The WindowsApps folder is a good example of a restricted access folder. This folder includes Universal Windows Platform applications installed on your PC. You’ll see the usual access (or permission) denied message when you try to open it.
You can manually take ownership of this folder, and others, to open it by changing its permissions via the Security tab. This tab includes advanced security settings that you will need to modify to take ownership of the folders. This is how you can take ownership of the WindowsApps folder in Windows 11.
- Open File Explorer (the win + E hotkey launches it).
- Click on To see and Show to open more explorer options.
- To select Hidden objects On the menu.
- bring it C:Program Files folder path.
- Right-click on WindowsApps to select Properties.
- Select the Security tab displayed in the snapshot just below.
- Click on Advanced to see the Security settings for the WindowsApps window.
- Then click Switch to open a Select User or Group window.
- Walk in Administrator in the object name box. Alternatively, you can enter your target user account there.
- press the Check names button, and click the OKAY option.
- Click it Replace owner on subcontainers and objects to select it.
- Then select Apply > OKAY to change the permission of the folder as configured.
- Click on OKAY at the prompt that confirms that you have taken ownership of the folder.
Now go ahead and try to open WindowsApps again. This folder will now open for you after taking ownership of it. You can take ownership of other folders in the same way.
How to Take Ownership of a Folder Using Command Prompt
The command prompt gives us another way to take ownership of folders. It’s a bit easier and faster to take ownership of a folder by entering a quick command. You can take ownership of WindowsApps in the command prompt as follows:
- Click inside the Type here to search Start menu box, or you can press the the Windows + S keys at the same time.
- Grab ordered in your search field and open the command prompt with elevated rights by selecting Execute as administrator.
- Type this Takeown command:
takeown /F "C:Program FilesWindowsApps”
- press the Walk in key on the keyboard to take ownership of the folder.
The above command will assign ownership to the currently logged in user. You can further modify this command by adding additional switches to it. For example, add a /A and /R toggling it will assign ownership to the admin group and apply ownership to all subfolders included in the main directory. This command for the WindowsApp folder would look like this:
takeown /F C:Program FilesWindowsApps /A /R
If you prefer an even easier way to take ownership of folders, set up a Take possession context menu option. You can add a Take Ownership shortcut to the Windows 11 desktop context menu with the freeware Winaero Tweaker. Then you can simply select this context menu option to make your desired folder your own. Here are the steps to add a Take possession option in the context menu with Winaero Tweaker:
- First, navigate to the Winaero Tweaker download page in a web browser.
- Click on Download WinaeroTweaker on this web page to save a ZIP archive for the software.
- Launch File Explorer to open the folder containing the Winaero Tweaker ZIP file.
- Right-click the winaerotweaker ZIP archive and select Extract all.
- To select Show extracted files and Extract.
- Double-click on the Winaero Tweaker installation file.
- Click on Following to reach the chord options.
- Select the I accept the agreement radio button and click Following again.
- If you do not want to install the software in a default directory, select Browse to choose another.
- Keep clicking Following until you reach the final Install option.
- Click on Install to do this.
- To select Run Winaero Tweaker to start the software after exiting the setup wizard.
- Hurry To finish to exit the installer and display Winaero Tweaker.
- Double click Contextual menu in Winaero Tweaker to display options for that category.
- Select the Take ownershipoption p.
- Click it Add “Take Ownership” context menu to files and folders check box to select it.
You can now try your new Take possession context menu shortcut. Open the C:Program Files folder in file explorer and make sure Hidden objects is selected as shown in steps 1 through 4 of the first method. Right-click on the WindowsApps folder and select Show more options at the bottom of the context menu. Click on the new Take possession option in the classic menu, and select Yes in UAC prompts.
A cmd.exe window will then appear. Wait for the command prompt to apply your ownership of the selected folder (it will tell you to press any key when you are done). Then you can go ahead and open WindowsApps to see what’s inside.
You can also delete the Take possession context menu option with Winaero Tweaker. To do this, uncheck the Add Take Ownership context menu to files and folders to deselect this option in Winaero Tweaker. Or you can click Reset this page to default values Instead.
Extend access to your system by taking ownership of folders
When you have taken ownership of certain folders, you will be able to see exactly what they contain. In the case of WindowsApps, you will be able to open installation subfolders for Windows apps from there. So, taking ownership of the folders effectively gives you better access to everything on your PC. However, it is recommended that you do not attempt to delete the contents of these folders unless you know exactly what you are deleting.
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