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Unknown User Permissions-How To Reclaim YOUR Files

Updated on November 15, 2016
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Alem is an Entrepreneur and Writer with an A.S. in Digital Film Making.

Who Are You?

If you have seen the window above or something similar on your computer and want to find out how to fix it, take a deep breath. You have come to the right place.

Not too long ago I tried to access some of my media files on my computer and to my surprise my computer...let me repeat this, MY COMPUTER was telling me that I did not have permission to access MY files. Hmm, is that right?

At this point I was in a state of shock. I could not believe that my own computer was turning its back on its owner, kind of like a dog turning on its master. This kind of reminds me of one of my first hubs, Is Technology Going To Kill Us? Paging Mr. Schwarzenegger! Shameless plug, so what? Anyway, after I shook off the shock, I began to use the same computer that was working against me to find a way to reclaim my ownership.

Before I go any further I need to first explain what file permissions are.

"Most current file systems have methods of administering permissions or access rights to specific users and groups of users. These systems control the ability of the users affected to view or make changes to the contents of the filesystem." (Wikipedia)

Now back to the story...

I went online and after several hours of scrolling through web page after web page this is what I ended up with.

  • A bunch of tech talk from computer geeks who seemed more interested in out nerding each other than solving a problem. (we need them to solve problems not fight!)
  • Blog posts from people who claimed to have solved the problem, but failed to explain exactly how they did it.
  • Companies and indviduals who were attempting to capitalize off people like me who were having this problem.

Here's the outcome..

I got my permissions back...and without bs, arguing, or trying to take advantage of you I am going to tell you how you can get yours back too.

1. right click on the file or folder that you are having trouble with. When the windows pops up go all the way down and click on properties.

2. click on the SECURITY tab.

3. click on the ADVANCED tab.

4. click on the OWNER tab.

5. click on EDIT tab.

6. click on YOUR USER NAME and also check the place in the lower left hand corner that says "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects"

7. click APPLY and click OK all the way through.

8. Voila, you have reclaimed ownership of your files.

P.S. This works on Windows 7. You might have to improvise on older versions. As for Mac users, sorry. Oh, one more thing. Make life easier on yourself by using these steps on the main folder. This will keep you from having to do this for every freaking folder.

Hopefully I made a solution to a problem easier for someone else than it was for me. Pay It Forward...


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      Pierre de Grenoble 3 years ago

      And in case you cannot get ownership of any file or folder you would be authorized to, just mind the object might be corrupted. Especially if the owner is actually unknown. In such case a repair of the file system running CHKDSK could do the trick! As it did for me. Cheers from France

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      Skid 3 years ago

      Thank you. It worked.

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      djkruvand 4 years ago


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      noob 5 years ago

      Thank you!!! This really helped.