How to Hack Access to Your Own Files / Folders on Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7


windows access

Pooched Your Own Computer System ?


Have you ever decided (or been forced) to reinstall Windows (any flavor) and left over were dead folders or files that you either wanted to delete but could not or worse, folders you needed to open but could not because you did not have the correct access on your own computer. This is not so uncommon when moving from an old Operating System (OS) to a new one. There is a secret magic world called  permissions and ownerships, where files have ‘attributes’ that allow or forbid you doing anything to your own files or folders (like opening them or deleting them) There are some common tricks (just change permissions), or less common tricks (go into an old dos command prompt and change settings manually), or into safe mode and change ownerships there.

But unfortunately there may be a time (I had it recently) where your computer is so pooched that taking ownership even in safe mode or via the normal means just does not work. There is a hierarchy that can go on a bit but if it fails this little trick can save you hours (days before I found it) and only takes 2 seconds (so sad). It effectively changes your registry (and can change it back if you want) and it allows a simple ‘take ownership’ click to give you back your rights.


Warning : ! !

I would be remiss if I did not mention the obvious that windows will often put up a fight to protect you from yourself. That is it can save you by having permissions on your folders and files so you can not kill your system too easily. This hack says you know better and sometimes you do other times you might not. Deleting tithe wrong file or folder that you need on your system is not a good thing, and can spoil your day faster then having Sarah Palin call you a golly good friend.


The Fix Itself

This is a small zipped file comprising two small 1kb (.reg) registry files. Click on InstallTakeOwnership.reg to activate, and deactivate to turn it off if you choose. It adds a ‘take ownership’  option to your list of commands  when you right click any file or folder tweak to   If you are curious or want to save time hunting the file ‘’  in google (or bling) open a new text document copy enter the text below change the .txt filename to takeownership.reg save it click on it and you are done. Amazing registry tweak.

This fixed (gave access) to my outlook files as well as my old windows folder.
a real lifesaver.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Take Ownership"

@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F"

@="Take Ownership"

@="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"
"IsolatedCommand"="cmd.exe /c takeown /f \"%1\" /r /d y && icacls \"%1\" /grant administrators:F /t"


Tidbit by Loren Paul Wiener

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September 2010

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