How to Take Full Ownership of Files and Folders in Windows 11/10

There may be a lot of reasons why you want to take ownership of a file folder. This method is usually followed to fully own and control all files and folders on your PC. Also, you may grant access to other people on selected files so they can claim ownership if you have created a file to share with coworkers or have a document required in a group project. In this post, we will share how you can take full ownership of files and folders in Windows.

Take Full Ownership of Files and Folders in Windows

How to Take Full Ownership of Files and Folders in Windows 11/10

If you created a file, you are already the administrator of that file and have the authority to transfer ownership or provide access privileges to others as necessary. Similarly, you can forbid people from claiming ownership of a file or folder by denying them ownership privileges.

Given below are three methods by which you can take full ownership of files and folders in Windows:

  1. File Explorer Method
  2. Using Takeown Command
  3. Using iCACLS

Make sure you have an administrator account to execute these. You can also use these tools to transfer ownership to an existing account on your Windows PC. It works on Windows 11/10 and any other version of Windows.

1] File Explorer Method

In this method, you can take full ownership of files and folders in Windows using the File Explorer method. This is how you do it:

  • Right-click on the file or folder you want to take ownership of and click on Properties from the context menu.Open Folder Properties Securites Tab
  • In the Properties window, click the Security tab and choose the Advanced button.
  • Click the Change button next to Owner in the Advanced Security Settings window.Change Ownership Details Advanced Security
  • In the Enter the object name to select box, type your Windows user name and click OK. If the name doesn’t appear, click the Advanced button, and search for the name.
  • Search or Add Owner Details to File or Folder
  • Click the checkbox next to Replace owner on subcontainers and objects, and click Apply.Replace Owner on Sub folders and folders
  • Click Yes when the Windows Security warning message appears.Replace Permission with New Onwer of the File
  • Click OK again when the warning message If you have just taken ownership of this object, you will need to close and reopen this object’s properties before you can view or change permissions appears. Click OK again to close the window.

So, that is it! The ownership of the file or folder you have chosen has changed.

2] Using Takeown Command

To take ownership of a file or folder, Microsoft introduced the Takeown command-line utility. Running this program requires using an elevated Windows Terminal window. This is how you do it:

  • Open Windows Terminal (Admin) and run the following command to obtain ownership of a file:
takeown /f "filename"

Note: Replace “filename” with the complete file system path to the file you want to take ownership of in this command.

  • Right-click on the file you want to take ownership of,  choose the Copy as path option from the context menu, and paste it in the place of “filename” in the command.
  • If the command works, you will get a message that says: SUCCESS: The file (or folder): “filename” now owned by user “Computer Name\User name”.Takeown Command to Take Ownership of Files
  • Next, type the command below in Windows Terminal (Admin) to take ownership of a folder:
takeown /f "foldername" /r /d y

It would be best if you substituted the complete file system path of the folder you want to take ownership of by pasting it in the place “foldername” in the command.

When you also want to take ownership of all the files and subfolders in the specified folder, you must include the /r switch.

With the /d switch, you can instruct the application what to do by default when it encounters subfolders for which you do not have the rights. The command will let you acquire ownership of those subfolders even though you do not have List Folder rights because the default response is y (which stands for yes).

Run the following command to get a thorough breakdown of the Takeown command syntax:

takeown /?

3] Using iCACLS

While both are built for the same purpose, Takedown is built for the user who executes it. So it lets you take ownership of the file. However, if you want to transfer ownership to someone else, you must use iCACLS. It is popular among IT admins.

icacls C:\Windows\Web /grant "%USERDOMAIN%\%USERNAME%":(F) /t

To remove the user from the folder or file

icacls C:\Windows\Web /remove:g "%USERDOMAIN%\%USERNAME%":(F) /t

Note: If you add the /C icacls attribute, it allows it to continue after encountering errors (i.e., folders you do not yet have ownership of)

What is impressive about iCACLS is that it can remember or save a set of permission and reuse it. It uses what is called a DACL or Discretionary Access Control List. It is an internal list of permission that can be attached to an object, i.e., a user in the Active directory.

Read more about it here.

Conclusion

This is how you take ownership of files and folders on your Windows PC using the three methods in this article. Be cautious when changing a system file or folder’s permissions because doing so could seriously harm your system and jeopardize security. Therefore, please make a system restore point and proceed carefully.

Diya Mathew
I am a passionate writer who is fond of both creative content writing and technical writing. I love the English language and grammar and love anything to do with copy editing as well. I love working with people with whom I can share a passion for the English language and writing.

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