Take Ownership In Windows 10 For Files & Folders (How To Guide)


Having different levels of access to different files and folders is generally good. In most cases limiting those to take ownership in Windows 10 is great option. But when you’re hitting against the measures that were supposed to protect your data, you need to take back ownership and gain full access to those files.

Maybe you need to access a system file. Maybe someone who previously used that computer has left and you need to access the information in those folders. Windows 10, like many of its previous versions, doesn’t care about your needs. It only checks if you have permission to enter that folder. If you don’t, you’re locked on the outside and it’s hard to take ownership in Windows 10.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to take ownership and get full access to files and folders in no time, regardless of your reasons to gain full control permission. As you are about to find out, there are two ways to do get Windows permission:

There’s a setting way and there’s an app way. With the setting, you need nothing but your PC and knowing where to look for and what adjustments to make. With the third-party app, you’ll need to download it, install it, and from there, everything will become simple.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of Windows users out there who avoid overloading the operating system with unnecessary apps. Whether you prefer to deal with what you have or you’re willing to try an app, here are the two solutions you have at hand:


How to use File Explorer to take ownership of a file/folder in Windows 10 

So you decided you want no third-party tools, right? That’s fine, here’s how to take ownership in Windows 10. Go to the File Explorer and launch it:

  1. Follow the path to the file or folder you are interested in accessing and you’re currently restricted from;
  2. Make a right-click on it;
  3. From the context menu, select Properties;
  4. In the newly opened window, go to the tab labeled as Security;
  5. In there, click on the Advanced button and you should see a new window called Advanced Security Settings;
  6. From here, you will modify the Owner of that particular key, by hitting the Change link, right next to the “Owner:” label;
  7. In the newly opened Select User or Group window, click on the Advanced button to select the user account or simply write down your own user account, right in the box labeled as “Enter the object name to select”;
  8. Click the OK button for the changes to take place;
    • If you’ve selected a file within a folder or a subfolder within another folder, you can apply these changes for the entire folder in the same window Advanced Security Settings, by checking the box that says “Replace owner on sub-containers and objects” – don’t forget to hit OK when you’re done.


By now, you just replaced the owner of the inaccessible file or folder. There are still a few steps left, for you to gain full access through your own account and take ownership back:

  1. Go back to the path of the folder or file whose ownership you’ve just changed;
  2. Right-click on the file or folder;
  3. Go to Properties;
  4. Access the tab labeled as Security;
  5. Identify and click on the button labeled as Add;
  6. In the newly opened Permission Entry for Data window, identify the option “Select a principal” and then click on it to select your account;
  7. Under the Basic permissions menu, make sure you check the Full control box;
  8. Hit the OK button for the changes to take place;
    • If you want this change to apply to all the other files from that folder or to all the other subfolders from that folder, again, go to the window Advanced Security Settings and check the box that says “Replace all existing inheritable permissions on all descendants with inheritable permissions from this object”.


With this last tweak, you’ve just established that any permission on the parent object will automatically replace the permissions of all its other descendant objects. If permissions on each object are cleared, no matter if you’re looking at the parent objects or the descendant objects, they could be unique.

You only need to click on the OK button and go back to access the file or folder you couldn’t get to until now.

You might have solved your problem, but we told you there’s another way, a simpler way to take ownership in Windows 10, for doing so. Let’s see what we meant.


How to use TakeOwnershipEx to take ownership of a file/folder in Windows 10

TakeOwnershipEx is a free third-party app that you can use for doing all of the above without sweating a drop. No more exploring menus, ownerships and permissions through the tangled folders and functions of File Explorer.

Of course, there are some other apps that promise to do the same, but we’ve found this one to be particularly simple and convenient to use. All you have to do is to select the desired file or folder and then hit the button Take Ownership in Windows 10.

Then, you’re free to hit the button Restore ownership, and you’ll be restoring the default permissions that the file or folder previously had.

Now that you’ve seen both options, we’d like you to tell us in the comments below which one is your favorite? Do you know any other methods to take ownership and get full access to files and folders in Windows 10? We’d love to hear from you!

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