Take ownership of files and folders in Windows XP

Sometimes when you try to delete a folder, you get an error : “Access Denied” as shown in the image below:

One of the reasons for this kind of problems is that you do not have proper permissions of that file or folder (the other reason being that the file or folder is in use by some process). You can solve this problem by taking the ownership of that file or folder, so that you can delete or modify it. The following instructions tell you how to take the ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP :

  1. You must have administrator level access on the computer.
  2. Make sure you have simple file sharing disabled. Open Control Panel → Folder Options. Select the View tab, scroll down at the list of options. De-select Use simple file sharing and click OK

  3. Right-click on any file/folder you want to take ownership of, and select Properties. In the Properties dialog box, select Security and click on Advanced.

    It would open Advanced Security Settings dialog. In this, select Owner tab and then click on a user you want to give permissions to from the list titled Change owner to. Typically you would select your username from the list. Check Replace owner of sub-container and objects and click OK.

  4. Back into the Properties → Security dialog. If your username is not already listed in the are Group or username list, click Add. It would open a Select Users or Groups dialog. In this, enter your username and click Check Names followed by OK
  5. Click on your username in Group or username list and check Full Control in the permissions list. Click OK to close the Properties dialog.