Fix Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File Error

“Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File” is a common frustrating error on Windows 10/8/7 PCs, especially when you attempt to install, update, or even run a software.

Thanks to the ease of use and sheer beauty amongst other things, Windows is one of the most commonly used personal computer operating systems. When carrying out a given task, the OS guides you at every step of the way - even errors, you are hinted on what might be the cause of the error. This particular error gives no such hint, but we have done our research. This post will give you a few methods for fixing this issue on your computer.

15 Solutions to Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File

1Recover the Data through iMyFone AnyRecover

To fix this error, you will need some software. However, it’s tough deciding which to use, but a quick tip is that the most recommended application for this error is one called iMyFone AnyRecover. If you get the Windows cannot access the specified device path or file error, it means the requested file is corrupt or missing. AnyRecover packs an advanced Deep-Scan algorithm, which can go deep into the data structure to retrieve lost, deleted or inaccessible data. You can trust this software because it has a success rate of over 98%.


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Features of iMyFone AnyRecover:

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How to Retrieve Lost Files with iMyFone AnyRecover?

After downloading and installing AnyRecover, take the following steps to recover your files from an external storage:

Step 1: Launch the software and connect the storage media with a reliable USB cable or directly. After connecting your device, then select the device you want to recover data from.

select location

Step 2: After choosing the location, hit “Start” button to start scanning.

start scan

Step 3: It takes some time for the program to scan your lost files and list them in respective format. Choose either “Files View” or “Tree View” to preview the files, and choose the files you want to retrieve then click on “Recover”.

scanned files preview

Note: Do not save the files in which you lost them so as to avoid data being overwritten.

2Check the Permission of the File or Folder

We mentioned earlier that Windows errors provide hints into the solutions. Here, since this error says “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file,” we can understand that it might be a permission problem. So, a way of resolving this issue can be to check the permissions settings for the files or folder in which the files are saved.

Step 1: Right-click the file or folder and click Properties.

Step 2: Click on the Security tab and select your user account under Group or user name. Confirm that you have the permissions to full control, modify, read, write and read & execute by checking the appropriate boxes.

check your permission

Step 3: If you do not have the above permissions, click Edit and continue to tick all the boxes that apply.

Step 4: Click OK to save the settings.

save settings

3Check the File Location

If the permissions did not cause the problem, another suspect is that the file or folder might simply not be present. Hence Windows cannot find it. Confirm if the file or folder is on the disk and see if it’s in an inaccessible location.

Step 1: Right-click the shortcut and click on Properties.

Step 2: Navigate to the Shortcut tab and check if the path under Target is available.

check file location

4Unblock the File

Windows prevents files from corrupting the computer if it deems those files to be harmful. This could be the reason you are not able to access the file. A method of fixing the error “Windows cannot access the specified device path or file” is by unblocking the file (if Windows blocked it).

Step 1: You unblock the file by right-clicking on it and selecting Properties.

Step 2: Click on the General tab. There, if you see a prompt saying that “this file came from another computer and might be blocked,” select Unblock to unblock it.

unblock file

5Check If Your Antivirus Software is Blocking the File

Similar to the previous method, if Windows is not blocking the file, an antivirus may be doing it. If the above methods do not work, you can check if an antivirus software on your computer is blocking the file.

Step 1: Temporarily disable your antivirus software.

Step 2: Attempt to open the file. If it opens with the antivirus disabled, it means the software was blocking the file.

Step 3: If the software was blocking the file, you could choose to either disable the antivirus or completely uninstall it if you wish.

2Reasons for Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device Path or File

The Windows cannot access the specified device path error can be caused by some factors, namely:

  • 1. An antivirus software blocks the file.

  • 2. The shortcut or file may be corrupt.

  • 3. You do not have sufficient permission to access the file or file location.

  • 4. Windows is blocking the file from opening.

  • 5. The location of the file is not present or accessible. For example, a file located on a network location or drive that has been disconnected from the computer.


As you would have discovered by now, the error saying that Windows cannot access the specified device path is usually a straightforward error and is tricky to resolve. However, if you follow everything in this guide, then you should be able to fix this error easily by either of the 5 methods here or recover using a software like iMyFone AnyRecover.

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By  Alva Doris , to External Device Recovery

Updated on Dec 26, 2019

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