Fix: Destination Folder Access Denied in Windows 10/8/7

menu_default hide_default

An extremely common error that occurs on Windows computers is the “Destination Folder Access Denied” error, which prevents users from being able to move, copy, delete, or modify files and folders that are either locally available or part of a shared resource between users. When this error pops up, it is almost always accompanied by a message requesting that you need administrator permission to execute the action.  This request happens because the computer wants you to have proper ownership of the file or folder and if ownership was recently changed or you do not have the proper permissions, you will be blocked from completing the action. While this primarily happens on computers that have multiple users, the cause can also be due to a recent system update or issues with the source folder. The following quick fixes will help you regain access of ownership!

Quick Fixes to Solve Destination Folder Access Denied in Windows 10/8/7

If you are looking for some extremely easy-to-understand solutions that do not take up a lot of time, then the following five methods will aid you in getting around the 'Destination Folder Access Denied. You need permissions to perform this action' error.

1Transfer the Ownership of the File or Folder You Are Trying to Access

Step 1. You can do this by finding the file or folder in your File Explorer program in the hard drive that it is saved on (C:/Local Disk, or D:/Hard Drive Name).

Step 2. Once you have located the file or folder, right click on it and choose the properties option from the menu.

Step 3. In the properties tab, you will want to look for the security option across the top. Click into this and then choose the advanced button that will be near the bottom of the window.

Step 4. In the Advanced settings, hit the change link that appears beside the “owner” label. For safety reasons, make note of who the current owner is so that if you need too, you can change it back at a later time.

Step 5. When you hit the change link, another window will pop up that will ask you to select the user or group. You can either enter in the name and hit okay or choose the advanced button and hit the “Find Now” option.

Step 6. In the Find Now menu, you will be able to enter the object name or select the username of the account you want to give access too.

Step 7. If you want to change the ownership for all files or sub folders within a parent folder, you can check the box that says “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” under the advanced security settings. Just make sure to hit “OK” to change the ownership.

fix access denied error

Step 8. Once the ownership is changed, you have to provide full access to the file/folder. Right-click it and click on the properties selection again, hit the security tab, and click on the advanced button.

Step 9. Click on the add button, then on principal in the window that pops up and set the permissions to full control. Hit OK and exit.

2Gain Permissions to the Inaccessible Device

Step 1. Head into your File Explorer, find the hard drive, and right click it. If it is a file folder or a USB, do the same. Hit the Properties option from the menu that comes up.

Step 2. In the properties menu, head over to the security tab, and click on the advanced button.

Step 3. In the advanced menu, there will be an owner tab. Go to it, click on Edit, and click on your username under the group/user setting.

fix access denied error

Step 4. Finally, under the permissions section of this window, checkmark all boxes in the allow column. Hit okay and then click apply to give permissions to your inaccessible device.

fix access denied error

3Perform Windows 10 Clean Boot

Step 1. To perform a clean boot, hit your Start menu button and search msconfig. Click on the system configuration option that comes up.

Step 2. In the window that pops up, find the services tab and click on it. At the bottom of the window, checkmark the box that says, “Hide all Microsoft services”. Then hit the “Disable all” button.

fix access denied error

Step 3. Then head on over to the startup tab and hit Open Task Manager.

Step 4. Disable all startup items in the startup tab in your Task Manager. You will need to choose each item from the list, then hit Disable.

Step 5. Then go back to the system configuration window and hit OK. Restart the computer.

4Use a Command Prompt

Step 1. Press your Windows key or hit your start menu and type in cmd or command prompt.

Step 2. Right click on the command prompt program that comes up and run it as an administrator.

Step 3. Type the following code: icacls “full path of file” /grant %username%:F /t.

Step 4. The full path of the file is found by opening the target file or folder, clicking on the address in the top. Replace “full path of file” with the name of the file in quotations still.

Step 5. Once the command has run successfully, type the following code: takeown /f “full path of file” /r with the “full path of file” being the actual full path of the file. Hit Enter to execute the command.

5Rename the Folder

Step 1. Open up your File Explorer, location your program files. This is usually C:\ProgramFiles.

Step 2. Within these program files, find the WindowsApps folder and choose to Rename it.

Step 3. Choose Yes when your are prompted to confirm.

Try Out This Advanced Solution to Fix the Access Denied Folder

If the above options aren’t working for you, you can always reformat and reset the inaccessible device. In doing this, you will be resetting the device back to factory settings. This will negate any ownership problems, but you will want to recover any lost data from your inaccessible device at first as reformatting will overwrite the data.

Part 1. How to Recover Data from the Access Denied Hard Drive

To recover lost files, use a third-party program that has a high recoverability rate like AnyRecover, which does not overwrite data and allows you to recover files from all types of inaccessible devices such as flash drives, hard drives, memory cards, and more.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:        

Offer a reliable and instant solution to get back lost files from any formatted device or drive.

Help you find any traces of files you have deleted.

Only in a few clicks, you can retrieve any types of files, even if the files  were deleted long time ago.

It will not only recover data from your external hard drive but you can also use it for different storage devices.

Support more than 1000 file types including photos, videos, audios, documents, and so on.

Download NowDownload Now

Steps of recovering data from access denied hard drive with AnyRecover:

Step 1. Download the program from the AnyRecover website and launch it. Select the device in which you have lost data from. Hit the “Start“ button to do an all-around scan. Wait until the scan has been completed. This could take several minutes to complete.

select a location

Step 2. Once the scanning has been completed, all lost files will be listed out with their file types. Some of these will be files, some will be folders, and some may even be videos or audios. This is just dependent on what types of files have been lost over time.

Scan the Location

Step 3. Double-click to preview the files and select which ones you want to recover. Hit “Recover” button to get them back and save them in a place where you can access them on your computer (not on the device you will be reformatting).

Preview and Recover

Part 2. How to Reformat & Reset the Inaccessible Device

After recovering and exporting data, now you can reset the inaccessible device back to factory settings. In order to solve the ownership problem, do the following.

Step 1. Find the inaccessible device on your computer, whether this is a USB drive, SD card, internal or external hard drive and right-click it. Choose the "Format" option from the list.

Step 2. Reset everything about the inaccessible device. This includes the label name, the file system, and the user group. Hit the "Start" button.

Step 3. You will be asked to confirm whether you want to reset the device to factory settings. Hit “OK” to do so.


While all of the steps above will help solve the destination folder, access denied error, it is best that you avoid having multiple user groups on a computer or try not to update, modify, or change folders/files around when there are updates that need to be done. These are the most common reasons why the ownership issue arises and causes the access denied error, so just avoiding these situations in the future will ensure that it doesn’t occur again.

Download NowDownload Now

+ View all all the comments and join the discussion


By  Simon Marcus , to External Device Recovery

Posted on Dec 05, 2019  ( Updated: Feb 12, 2020 )

Related Articles: