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How to Open WindowsApps Folder on Windows 11

The WindowsApps folder is an important system folder located in the C:\Program Files directory and used to store applications installed from the Microsoft Store. By default, the WindowsApps folder is hidden and has restricted user access. If you try to open or access the WindowsApps folder without proper permissions causes the “Access Denied” or “You have been denied permission to access this folder” error.

If you want to open the WindowsApps folder for whatever reason, you need to change the folder’s permissions and take ownership. While sounds hard, it is pretty easy to fix the WindowsApps access denied error and access it just like any other folder. Follow the steps given below. Let’s get started.

How to Open WindowsApps Folder

To access the WindowsApps folder, you will need to take ownership of it. Here are the steps you should follow:

Step 1: Open File Explorer with Win + E shortcut or by searching it in the Start menu.

open File Explorer from start menu on Windows 11

Step 2: Go to the “C:\Program Files” directory and select the View > Show > Hidden items option.

show hidden files and folder Windows 11

Step 3: Locate the WindowsApps folder, right-click on it, and select Properties.

select properties to open windowsapps properties

Step 4: Go to the Security tab and click on Advanced.

click advanced

Step 5: Select the Change option.

click change

Step 6: Input your username in the blank field and press Check Names.

input your username to take ownership of windowsapps

Step 7: Click Ok in the Select User or Group window.

click ok

Step 8: Check the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” box and click Ok.

select replace checkbox

That’s it. You’ve taken ownership of the WindowsApps folder. Double-click on the WindowsApps folder to open or access it. Since you’ve taken complete ownership of the folder and all its contents, you can create, modify, or delete any file or folder as needed. However, exercise caution and don’t modify files or folders unless it is absolutely necessary. If you chose to edit a file, create a backup before doing it so that you restore it if something goes wrong.

windowsapps folder opened in file explorer

If you don’t want to do it the manual way, you can download a free software called TakeOwnership which adds a take ownership right-click option. Selecting the option immediately transfers the folder’s ownership to your user account.

Restore original permissions/ownership of the WindowsApps folder

To restore the original permissions of the WindowsApps folder, you need to change its owner to TurstedInstaller. Follow the steps below:

Right-click on the WindowsApps folder in the “C:\Program Files” directory and select Properties. Navigate to the Security tab, click on “Advanced” and then select the Change option. Input “NT Service\TrustedInstaller” in the blank field, click on “Check Names” and then on the “Ok” buttons. Select the “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects” checkbox and click Ok. Restart your PC.

restore permissons on windowsapps folder

That is it. With that, the original permissions are restored for the WindowsApps folder.

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