FIX: You need permission to perform this action – Cannot Delete Folder or File (Solved)

Last updated on April 11th, 2018

On a Windows 10/8/7 or Vista based computer, the following error appears when trying to delete a folder or file: "Access Denied – You need permission to perform this action. You require permission from SYSTEM or Administrators to make changes."  

 folder access denied - You need permission to perform this action

The "folder access denied – you need permission to perform this action" issue occurs because the folder or the file that you want to delete is locked by a process or a system service or because the file/folder is essential for Windows' operation.

In this tutorial you 'll find detailed instructions to resolve the following problems in Windows 10/8/7 or Vista OS:

    1. " You require permission from SYSTEM to make changes to this folder…"
      " You require permission from Administrators to make changes "
      " Cannot delete file. Cannot read from the source file or disk "
      " Cannot delete Folder. Directory Not Empty "
      " Folder Access Denied. You need permission to perform this action"

How to Fix: You need permission to perform this action.


Method 1. Delete the Folder/File that you cannot delete in Safe Mode.

The first method to resolve "Access Denied" problems when deleting a folder or a file in Windows OS, is to delete the folder from Windows Safe Mode. To do that:

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + R  keys to open the 'Run' command box.
2. In run command box, type msconfig press Enter to open the System Configuration utility.



3. At the Boot tab, check the Safe Boot option and hit OK.


4. At the next window, click Restart.
In Windows Safe Mode, try to delete the folder/file.
6. Then, open the System Configuration utility (msconfig) utility again and uncheck the Safe Boot option. Hit OK to re-start Windows normally.


Method 2. Use Unlocker to delete a locked folder/file.

1. Download and Install* the latest Unlocker version from here.

* Note: At 'Unlocker Setup' options, click Advanced and uncheck the "Install Delta Toolbar".




2. When the installation is completed, right click at the folder/file that you cannot delete and select Unlocker.



3. At Unlocker window choose Delete and click Unlock. *

* Note: If the file is locked by a process, then click Kill Process.




Method 3. Change Folder's Owner.

Another method to bypass the "You need permission" problem, is to change the Owner of the folder. To do that:

1. Right click at the folder or file that you cannot delete and select Properties.
2. Select the Security tab and click Advanced.

security advanced


3. Click the Change Owner.

change owner


4. Type your account username (e.g. "Admin") and click OK.

change owner windowsapps


5. Check the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox and click OK. Then click OK again to close security settings.

owner windowsapps


6. Now try to delete the folder.


Method 4. Delete the folder from Command Prompt.

1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator.
2. Take the ownership permissions for the folder that you want to delete, by typing this command:

  • takeown /F "Full_Path_Folder_Name" /r /d y

Sample: At this example we 're going to delete the "C:\Folder1", so the command will be:

    • takeown /F "C:\Folder1" /r /d y


3. Then give this command to take full control permissions at the folder that you want to delete:

  • icacls "Full_Path_Folder_Name" /grant Administrators:F /t

Sample: For this example the command will be:

    • icacls "C:\Folder1" /grant Administrators:F /t


4. Finally type the following command to delete the folder:

  • rd "Full_Path_Folder_Name" /S /Q

Sample: For this example the command will be:

    • rd "C:\Folder1" /S /Q



That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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