Windows 7/8/10 – "You Do Not Have Permission To Access" File / Folder / Drive Error Fix (2018/2019)

The "You Do Not Have Permission To Access …" error is caused by Windows having a problem with the permissions of a file, folder or entire hard drive.

Many people have reported the error to show when you have either put in a new hard drive to your system, or have some sort of issue relating to the files / folders of your present system.

If you're looking to regain access to the folder, file or drive in question – the answer lies in the permissions set upon it. This is done by ensuring that you have access to the right resources on the OS.


Every modern OS works by having a series of "permissions" which are used to authorize use of different resources on a system.

Every file, folder, drive, function, service and feature is tied to this "permissions" system – allowing users to determine exactly who is able to access their computer.

Unfortunately, it can often be the case that the permissions table can either become damaged, corrupted or setup incorrectly. This is pretty much much of the problem you're facing.

Your error will generally show when you try and gain access to the various folders or files that you may have on your system.

The error message will show as follows:

You do not currently have permission to access this folder

You do not have permission to access …

The fix is ​​to ensure the folder's permissions are set up properly.


To get the system working properly again, you need to ensure that you have the correct permissions for the file / folder you're trying to access.

This is exactly the same across all modern versions of Windows (7,8,10) and works as follows:

1. Ensure You Have Administrator Access

The first step is to ensure you are an administrator.

Administrator accounts are the default for most computers, and then if you are unsure as to whether you have one, you can follow the steps here:

  • In any version of Windows, click on "Start"
  • Click your profile's user account image
  • Select "Change Account Settings" (if in Windows 8/10 – it should just load the settings if on earlier versions)

Once in the account settings area, you'll get an insight into whether the user has administrative privileges or not.

If you're not an administrator, you'll need to use the following steps to rectify the issue:

  • In Windows 7, click on "Start"> "Control Panel"
  • Select "Change Account Type" under "User Accounts"
  • Change the account type for your user to "Administrator" if it is not already
  • In Windows 8/10, press "Windows" + "I" keys on your keyboard
  • From the "settings" app, select "Accounts"
  • Click "Family & Other People"
  • Under the "Other People" tab, select "Change Account Type"
  • Choose Administrator if you're not one now

2. Assign The Correct Permissions To The Folder

After ensuring you have 100% administrator access, you then need to be able to manage the permissions the folder might have.

To do this, you need to follow these steps:

  • Click on File Explorer (press "Windows" + "R" keys on keyboard + type "explorer" + hit "OK")
  • Browse to the folder / file / drive that's not working
  • Right-click and select "Properties"
  • From the top tabs section, select "Security"
  • Select "Edit"
  • Click "Add"
  • In the bottom box, type "Everyone"
  • Click "OK"
  • From the top box, select "Everyone" and then in the bottom box, check "Allow" for everything
  • Click "OK"

This should resolve the issue for 99% of computer users.

3. Clean Out Damaged / Corrupted Files

After doing this, it's always a good idea to ensure that Windows does not have any under issues with respect to its settings / files.

To do this, you should follow the steps here:

  • Press "Windows" + "S" keys on keyboard
  • Type "CMD" and press "Enter"
  • Right-click and select "Run As Administrator"
  • Into the box that appears, type "SFC / scannow" and press "Enter"
  • Let it scan and then type "DISM / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth" – press "Enter" after doing so

Once complete, you'll also need to be able to clean out any of the temporary files of your system (which may be causing deeper issues):

  • Press "Windows" + "S" keys on keyboard
  • Type "disk clean-up"
  • Click the first icon which shows
  • Select "Scan System Files" (button)
  • Let it scan and then clean out ALL of the files it finds
  • After completion, restart your PC

Although this should resolve the issue for 90% of instances of the error, there may be other occurrences which are not so easily resolved.

If you still experience the error (even after performing the above steps), it will be best to get a specific opinion on what the issue might be. To do this, there are a number of resources to consider – sometimes the likes of SuperUser, Microsoft Answers or even Reddit. It may also be prudent to talk to a local PC repair guy (although that's likely to incur a cost).