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Edit File and Folder Permissions for Windows Users


Ever wanted to access a file or folder but it said, ‘you do not have enough permissions’ to access it, or simply ‘Access denied’? Windows operating system has users and groups. In a newly installed Windows, default permission policies are applied on all files, folders and drives. The first user is the administrator. You can create more users and grant custom permissions to each. Some of the most important users are ‘administrators’, ‘system’, ‘creator owner’, ‘network’ and ‘power users’. Based on each user’s privileges, a user is allowed to access certain areas of computer. Here is how you can allow or restrict users to use files and folders.

There are two cases I want to discuss right now.

1- How can a computer Administrator access system files and folders (restricted by default)?
2- How can administrator set permissions for limited users?

If you are a computer administrator, and lets say you need to access the system protected folders (e.g. System Volume Information, $Recycle.Bin) for system tweaking, you need to take its ownership or you need to add permissions for administrators to it in the following way.

If its a hidden folder, unhide (show system protected files and folders/show hidden files and folders) it. Right click at the folder and click Properties. Select Security tab. Click Edit and in this case Add administrators group. Click Add -> Advanced -> Find Now. Look below for administrators in the list and add it. Hit Ok, OK and then administrators will be added in the security section. Give it full control from the section ‘Permission for System‘. Hit Ok.

From advanced settings you can further modify permission level in detail. In the Security tab, there is a button for Advanced.

Now that restricted system folder will be available to manage for administrators.

To manage different access levels for different users you will have to create separate users from Windows Control Panel. Then you have to modify access levels for different folders or computer drives.

If you want to disallow ‘User A’ to access ‘Folder A’ or Drive ‘E’, Get the Properties of that drive or folder and go to Security tab. Remove ‘User A’ from there. If you want to only restrict ‘User A’ to delete or modify files in that folder but allow him to read the files, then you should edit the ‘Permissions for System’ for that user. Check boxes in that area provide controls to restrict or allow users to perform certain actions on the concerned folder or drive.

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