Windows - permissions

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NOTE: This page is a daughter page of: Windows

Windows can be a bit finicky with permission, so on this page I'll keep track of any tools or common "fixes" I find to common issues.

Changing Permissions

Getting rid of the annoying "you'll need to provide administrator permission" message


On Windows 7 I got a very common error message:

WARNING MESSAGE: You'll need to provide administrator permission to move this file

This error also appear when trying to rename, delete or edit a file and it gets very annoying to click "Continue" each time - or if you are not administrator you will just be unable to do it at all. The problem began because I had copied data from an old hard drive and so didn't have the same "owner" name as my account/user name on my new computer, and it didn't add full permissions to my new account.


To fix this problem, you need to be logged in as a administrator or original owner of the file (right click > Proprieties >> Details). I think there are several methods to fix this, but the easiest is to change permissions of the "root most" folder (the one with the shortest path) causing the problems. To find the root most folder you can try renaming each folder (then rename back) to see which folders do an don't give the annoying administer permissions warning. To fix:

  • Open Windows Explorer select the root-most folder then right click >> Properties.
  • Click the "Security" tab and see if your name is on the list - it should read yourusername (yourcomputername\yourusername) - then click Edit.
  • If your name was't on the list click "Add" then enter your user name, click "Check Name" to verify you got it right, then click "OK" to get back to the previous window.
    • NOTE: You can also delete any weird user names that don't appear to belong (they may be a legacy of old user names), but leave the "Administrators" and "SYSTEMS" alone.
  • At this stage your name should be on the list, so you should select it then where it says "Full control" click Allow, then "Apply" then "OK" and "OK" again.

At this stage you should be able to modify the folder and all it sub-directories without getting the warning. Although you now have permission, you may not be marked as the onwner. You can check this by selecting a file (not a folder) right click >> Properties, then scroll to the bottom of the Details tab..

  • Select the desired file/folder right click >> Properties.
  • Under the "Security" tab, click Advanced.
  • In this "Advance Security Settings" window, you're able to change permissions and also see where permissions are "Inherited From", but what we want to do here is click the Owner tab.
  • If the current user is not correct, click "Edit", then select your name (should be on the list, since you are on the permissions list) click "Apply" and "OK".
    • NOTE: If it's a folder you are editing a "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox appears, and you tick that before you hit Apply.
    • Close the windows and you should now appear as the owner of that file.