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Windows 7 - How to Take Ownership of a File


Most Windows 7 system files and other important folders and files used by core programs and operating system components are protected from modification or deletion. The access rights are configured in such a way that even system administrators cannot, by default, access the file. This prevents important system files from being overwritten and causing your computer to stop working. There are some cases, however, in which you'll want to take ownership of a file in order to replace or modify it. It's a good idea to back up the file first, before you decide to make and changes to it or replace it.

To take ownership of a file, you will need to be logged in as an administrator. You will also be able to find a registry hack on the Internet which will add "Take ownership" to the right-click menu in Windows Explorer. This makes the process far easier, though if you still want to use the manual method, follow the steps below.

Right-click on the folder or file which you want to gain full access to. Click on the "Security" and click "Advanced." Click on the "Owner" tab once you are at the Advanced Security Settings dialog box. You will see a list of user accounts on the computer, as well as groups of user accounts and the system itself. Click the "Edit" button towards the bottom of the window. Locate the name of your Windows user account and highlight it by double-clicking on it. If you are taking ownership of a folder and you want to take ownership of any other folders and files within that folder, then ensure that the box beside "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" is checked. Click "OK" to finish.

Now that you have taken ownership of the file, you'll be able to change the read and write permissions for it. To do this, right click on the folder or file, click "Properties" and return to the "Security" tab. Click the "Edit" button. To have complete control over the file or folder, check the box beside "Full control." You'll then be able to modify the contents of the file or folder, delete it or overwrite it. Click "OK" when you're done.

 

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