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Take ownership of file or folder

In windows, some of the system files are protected by OS and can’t be accessed by users with even administrator privileges.  CSC cache stored in C:\Windows\CSC is one such folder. If you try to open the folder in windows explorer, you would be greeted with the window ‘You don’t currently have permission to access this folder.  Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.”

For example, when I open the folder C:\MSOCache on my Windows 7 box, I see the following window.

Folder access denied in Windows

The window says You don't currently have permission to access this folder.

By clicking on ‘Continue’ button, we can get access to the folder. IF UAC is enabled with ‘always notify’ setting, it would ask for confirmation again. Say yes and you can access the folder. By doing this step, we have gained ownership of the folder/file.

Take ownership of a file/folder from windows command line?

Open elevated administrator command prompt and run the below command on the file.

takeown /F fileName

Running from a non elevated command prompt would generated the error ‘Access is denied’

Take ownership of a folder and all its contents

c:>takeown  /R /F c:\windows\csc\
SUCCESS: The file (or folder): "c:\windows\csc\" now owned by user "domain\user".

These commands work on Windows 8 and Windows 7.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Sarath

    I get access denied error running this command. I opened cmd with run as admin option and executed this.
    c:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat 11.0\Setup Files>takeown /R /F “{AC76BA86-1033-FFFF-7760-000000000006}”
    ERROR: Access is denied.

  • Brandon

    I get “INFO: Access is denied” when trying this method on my CSC folder.

    • admin

      You ran the command from elevated cmd?

  • John

    Alternate method:

    1. Open elevated command line.
    2. Run Psexec -i -s cmd.exe to open the cmd.exe as System.(utility from PS UTILs pack from Microsoft)
    3. cd c:\windows\csc
    4. You can run a directory and get access to the files as needed.

  • Art K

    Another alternate using only windows commands:
    • Right click on folder or file in Explorer (or other file manager where you can access properties)
    • Chose Properties | Security | Advanced | Owner
    • Select User Account name in “Change owner to”
    • Optionally check “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects
    • Apply changes by clicking the OK

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