How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

You may need to share your pc with many people for a variety of reasons. Windows 10 offers and manages all file permissions at the system level. It keeps your data protected from other users. In Windows 10 PC, files created by users are by default readily accessible. You can change file permissions Windows 10, if you are an administrator which will restrict other users to editing only their files. The permissions of files can be changed easily. In this article, we bring to you a helpful guide that will teach you how to change file permissions in Windows 10.

How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you may experience the file permission issue in the following scenarios:

  • When other users have specified permissions for files that you are not allowed to view on a shared PC.
  • You want to change the system files although editing system files is not recommended as it results in unexpected problems.
  • Protected data you downloaded from a USB or external which you wish to change in your PC.
  • You wish to make changes in files that have been transferred from other operating systems like macOS.
  • You wish to remove other users’ authorization to prevent them from viewing particular shared files.

Are File Permissions and File Attributes Different?

It is important to understand the difference between file permission and attributes before learning how to change file permissions Windows 10.

  • File attributes – They are properties of a file. For instance, if it is read-only or not. Attributes remain the same even if the file is copied, uploaded, downloaded or mailed. Usually, attributes do not require admin rights to modify.
  • File permissions – They are normally exclusive to a PC i.e. the permissions may change if the file is opened in another PC. They control who can access the files and their content.

Things to Keep in Mind

Before we can get down to how you can change permissions Windows 10, you should know the level of user rights required by you to change file permissions in Windows 10.

  • System files and folders: You need administrator user rights to change file permissions.
  • User files: You require admin privileges or credentials to the user’s Windows account.
  • TrustedInstaller owned files: To make modifications to a file or folder controlled by TrustedInstaller, admin user rights are necessary.

Method 1: Edit User Profile in Folder Security Properties

This method applies to all users. Generally, handling files and folders that you own is not a problem. However, people have reported being unable to alter files they own or have created. After logging in with the right user account, follow these steps to modify file permissions on Windows 10.

1. Open File Explorer by pressing Win + E keys simultaneously.

2. Navigate to the file whose permissions you wish to alter.

3. Right-click on it and select Properties from the context menu.

Properties option after right click. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

4. Switch to Security tab and Click on Edit.

Security tab in Folder properties.

You can inspect and alter permissions for each listed user or group in the following window.

5. Choose a user or a group.

6. For each user, you may get different permissions. For example, if Full control checkbox is checked under the Deny column then the selected user will be unable to open the file.

User permissions highlighted. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

7. You will see the follow options:

  • Full control – File can be read, written, changed or deleted by user.
  • Modify – File can be read, written and changed by user.
  • Read & execute – File can be read or run the selected file.
  • List folder contents – File can be viewed in the selected folder.
  • Read – File can be opened by user.
  • Write – File can be edited or created by user.

Check the permissions boxes as per your requirement. Click Apply > OK.

User permissions folder.

Also Read: Fix File Explorer Not Responding in Windows 10

Method 2: Replace All Child Object Permission Entries

In some cases, permission can’t be changed. The permissions under Allow column are grayed out and can’t be selected. You can change that by going to Advanced settings, here is how to do it.

1. Follow Steps 1,2 and 3 from Method 1 to open the Folder Properties.

2. Go to Security tab and Click on Advanced.

User permissions folder. Advanced option highlighted.

3. Check the box that says, Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object and select your account as the user.

Advanced security settings window. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

4. Click the Apply. After that a confirmation prompt will appear, click Yes on it.

Advanced security settings window.

You should be able to view and change permissions of the selected folder or files and understand how to change file permissions in windows 10.

Method 3: Add a New Administrator Profile

Sometimes a user is not mentioned at all in the users or groups box. You must manually add the user in that scenario before you can grant them permission. Otherwise, they will be unable to access the files as they are not on the user list. Follow these steps to add a user and allow them file permissions to Word or Windows 10 in general:.

1. Right-click folder/file you want to share and select Properties from the menu.

Properties option after right click.

2. Switch to Security tab and Select Edit.

Go to the Security tab and click on Edit. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

3. Click on Add.

Security tab in Folder properties. Add option highlighted.

4. In the Enter the object name to select box of the prompt window, type the user name to whom you want to grant access. Click on Check Names. It will automatically select the username and verify it. Click OK.

Prompt window after clicking Add.

5. The username will now appear in the security tab under Group or user names.

6. Select the user name and grant them permission as preferred. Click Apply > OK.

Also Read: How to Force Delete File in Windows 10

Method 4: Change Ownership to Administrator

You can easily change permissions of a file by taking its ownership. It is the simplest way to modify a file. Follow the below instructions to get complete control of a file by taking ownership of it.

Option I: Change Ownership from Advanced Security Setting

1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 from Method 2 to go to Advanced Security Settings.

2. Click on Change next to the Owner section at the top of the page.

Advanced Security Settings window.

3. A popup window will appear. Enter your username in the Enter the object name to select. Select Check Names and wait until it is verified. Click OK to save changes.

Select user or group prompt window. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

4. The owner section will be updated now. To save changes, check Replace owner on sub containers and objects, then click Apply and OK.

Advance Security Settings Window.

Note: You could check the option to Replace all child object permission entries as advised by some experts.

Option II: Manually Provide File Permissions

In rare cases, you may be required to manually provide access to file permissions to your account. To do so, simply follow these steps:

1. Navigate to Advanced Security Settings.

2. There will be a list of all users shown. Click the Add button if your user account isn’t displayed.

Advanced Security Settings window. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

3. Click Select a principal.

Permission entries window for the selected user. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

4. Now put your user account name into the prompt box as shown in Step 3 of Method 4.

Select user or group prompt window. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

5. Select Full control. In Type select Allow and In Applies to select This Folder, Subfolders, and Files. Click OK.

Permission entries window for the selected user.

Now you have full access to the selected file.

Also Read: How to Open a Pages File on Windows 10

Option III: Through Command Prompt

If you still can’t take ownership of a file then you can use Command Prompt which will directly modify the file properties. Here is how to change file permissions in Windows 10 using Command Prompt.

1. Hit the Windows key, type Command Prompt and click on Run as Administrator.

Command Prompt search in the Windows search bar. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

2. Type the following command and press Enter key.

takeown /f path_to_folder /r /d y 

Note: Replace path_to_folder with the path of folder/file you want to take ownership of.

enter the given takeownership command in cmd

3. Now type the following command and Enter key.

icacls path_to_folder /grant administrators:F /T 

Note: Replace administrators with your account/user name.

enter the icacls command in cmd. How to Change File Permissions in Windows 10

You should now have complete access to the selected folder/file after performing these two commands.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. In Windows 10, what are permissions?

Ans: Permissions for apps allow them to access certain components of your device, such as hardware, such as GPS to establish your location or software, such as the camera. It’s critical to understand which programs use which permissions.

Recommended:

We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to learn how to change file permissions in Windows 10. Let us know which method worked for you the best. If you have any queries or suggestions then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

Posted by

Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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