Knowledge Base

Windows Server - When and How to Take Ownership of a File or Folder

Article Summary: This article provides information on the concept of object ownership in Windows and how to take ownership of a file or folder.

Every object in Windows has an owner, and the importance of ownership becomes evident when an administrator finds himself or herself unable to access an important file or folder because the appropriate permissions have been removed, either intentionally or otherwise. The owner of an object is always able to set permissions on that object, even when the existing permissions would otherwise deny the owner all access to it.

Three groups of users are able to take ownership of an object:

  • Administrators
  • Anyone who has the Take ownership advanced permission on the object.
  • Anyone with the Restore files and directories user right.

The ability to take ownership of an object can be assigned to a user or group, and ownership itself can be taken by a user with the ability to do so. Ownership can also be directly assigned to another user or group by a user with the Restore files and directories user right. To take or assign ownership of a folder, perform the following steps:

  1. Right-click the folder in Windows Explorer and select Properties.
  2. In the Security tab of the properties window, click Advanced.
  3. In the Owner tab of the Advanced Security Settings window, click Edit.
  4. Select the user or group that should be given ownership. Only users with the Restore files and directories user right will have the Other users or groups button enabled.
  5. To change the ownership of the folder's contents as well as the folder itself, make sure the Replace owner on subcontainers and objects box is checked.
  6. Click OK. If you are changing the ownership of a large number of objects, the operation may take a while.
  7. A popup will appear informing you that you must close the folder's properties page and reopen it before you can change the permissions on the folder. Click OK to dismiss it.

You (or the user to whom you assigned ownership) may now change the permissions on the folder in question.

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN266075

Last Date Modified: 09/08/2014 02:34 PM

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