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How to Take Ownership of Any Folder or File in Windows 10

To edit system files or folders, you need to take ownership of them. Here is how to take ownership of any folder or file in Windows 10.

When you create a new file or folder in Windows, it generally belongs to that specific user. i.e, the ownership is retained with your user account. This means that you can read, write, modify, and delete the file or folder as you choose. Of course, other users can also do the same provided their user accounts have the same or higher set of permissions. For example, if an administrator takes ownership and restricted users from accessing a folder, other users cannot access, write, or modify it. Put simply, if ever needed, you can easily restrict users from accessing any folder or file.

To protect the system files from any unnecessary changes, the ownership of specific system files and folders belong to the system. That way, no user except the System can access, modify, or delete them. Generally, this is a good thing because most users or installed programs never need to access or modify system files. However, there might be times when you need to make certain changes to a system file or folder. In those cases, you have to manually take ownership of the file or folder you are trying to modify.

The good thing is, once you know how to do it, it is pretty is to do. In this quick Windows 10 guide, let me show you the steps to take ownership of a folder or file.

Take ownership of a folder or file

To take ownership of any file or folder, follow the steps given below.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Go to the file or folder.
  3. Right-click on the file or folder.
  4. Select the “Properties” option.
  5. Go to the “Security” tab.
  6. Click on the “Advanced” button.
  7. Click on “Change” next to Owner.
  8. Press the “Advanced” button.
  9. Click “Find Now.”
  10. Select your user account under “Search results.”
  11. Click “Ok.”
  12. Click “Ok” in Select User or Group window.
  13. Press “Apply” and “Ok.”
  14. Select your user account under “Group or user names.”
  15. Click “Edit.”
  16. Select your user account.
  17. Select the “Full Control” checkbox under the “Allow” column.
  18. Click “Apply” and “Ok.”
  19. Click “Ok.”
  20. With that, you took ownership of the file or folder.

First thing, right-click on the file or folder and select the “Properties” option. In the properties window, go to the “Security” tab and click on the “Advanced” button.

advanced permissions

In the Advanced Security Settings window, click on the “Change” link next to the Owner heading.

click change to take ownership of folder or file

To take ownership, you need the proper user name. To do that, click on the “Advanced” button. Next, click on the “Find Now” button, select the user account under the “Search results” section and then click on the “Ok” button.

click advanced to select user account
click find now to find your user account
select your user account from search results

Click the “Ok” button in the “Select User or Group” window.

confirm selected user account

Click on the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons in the Advanced Security Settings window.

confirm ownership change - take ownership of file or folder

After taking ownership, you need to make sure your user account has proper permissions. To do that, select your user account under the “Group or user names” section and click on the “Edit” button.

edit user permissions

Now, select the “Full Control” checkbox under the “Allow” column and click on the “Ok” button.

give full control permissions

Click the “Ok” button in the main window.

confirm new permissions

That is it. With that, you’ve successfully taken ownership and full control of the file or folder.

I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

Did you know that you can add take ownership to the right-click menu? Do check out the link to know how to do it.

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