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How to manually reset folder and file permissions in Windows Explorer

How to manually reset folder and file permissions in Windows Explorer

  • Comments 8

As I was typing out an earlier blog entry about resolving access denied (0x80070005) errors that can happen while installing the .NET Framework, I was intending to link to a post that listed the steps you can take to reset permissions (ACLs) for folders, files and registry keys.  Then as I searched through my previous blog posts I couldn't actually find a post where I listed those steps, so I figured I should list them as a standalone post.

Resetting folder/file permissions

  1. Launch an instance of Windows Explorer
  2. Navigate to the parent of the folder that you want to reset permissions for
  3. Right-click on the folder and choose Sharing and Security...
  4. Click on the Security tab
  5. Click the Advanced button
  6. Set the permissions you want - typically you will want to allow Administrators, System, and Creator Owner to have full control
  7. Check the box labeled Replace permission entries on all child objects with entries shown here that apply to child objects
  8. Click OK
  9. Click Yes in the dialog box that appears asking if you are sure
  10. Wait while Windows recursively applies the specified permissions to all sub-folders and files

Also note that there is a tool named subinacl.exe that can be used to automate the process of resetting folder, file and registry permissions so that you don't have to use the set of steps listed above.


  • Thanks guys. This article helped out.
  • I had a simliar problem with Access denied, except all the subfolders in the folder I was trying to access had the same permissions. When I followed your advice, it applied my new permissions only to the folder itself, and not to the subfolders and files inside. Nor to the files in the subfolders. It's driving me crazy and I can't figure out how to get it fixed. Why does it do this?

  • Hi Vartan - I'm not sure why you are running into this problem while using the Windows Explorer UI.  I suggest trying the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2006/09/04/solving-setup-errors-by-using-the-subinacl-tool-to-repair-file-and-registry-permissions.aspx to use the SubInAcl tool to try to fix this instead.

  • You have to go further than that to change permissions. You have to keep on clicking bottonos in the advanced section and add yourself as Administrator for whatever name you have as Administrator. The real Administrator is the system and you are only set as a sort of power user.  When you find the right section you click on search to find your Administrator's name and add it up and then you select the option to add those rights (inheritance) to all of the children in the branches.

  • You are absolutely awesome, solved all my problems of videos not working and unable to access files, and application. looked around the web for hours after i ignorantly changed some permissions settings. thank you. lol even though its a post from 6 years ago

  • I tried the above procedure but it didn't helped me out...While applying it shows Access is Denied with some Items

  • More appropriate title would be "how to modify permission...." because "reset" would mean to revert back to default permissions (as an out-of-box OS). And the proper way to reset is to use security template files shipped with the OS, under c:\windows\security\templates.

  • Use Permissions Time Machine v1.0 to restore default permissions to folder or files or registry keys it's free and fast and easy


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