You must have encountered the error “You need permission to perform this action” on Windows while trying to make changes to a file or program. What is this error? What causes it to come up, and how can you fix it?
In this article, I have highlighted this topic and explained various effective methods to fix the error. So just keep reading till the end.
About the Error of ‘You Need Permission to Perform This Action’ & What Causes It?
As mentioned above, the error “You need permission to perform this action on Windows” generally comes up when you try to make changes to a file.
And it happens only with the file, folder, or program used by some other process.
For example, a file or folder can be considered to be in use by some process if the antivirus installed on your system is scanning it for viruses.
In such a situation, you may not be allowed to delete the file or apply any modification to it and face the error “You need permission to perform this action” on Windows.
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Methods to Fix the You Need Permission to Perform This Action on Windows
Below I have explained step-by-step the most effective methods to fix the above-mentioned issue:
Method 1: Making Use Of Unlocker
One method to resolve the issue is to use Empty Loop’s Unlocker. Follow the steps mentioned below to install it:
- After downloading the program, run it.
- While installing the program, make sure that the “Advanced” option is selected. And the third-party software that comes included in the package of this program should be unchecked.
- Once the process of installation is completed, you should close the installer.
Once you have successfully installed the Unlocker on your computer, the below-given steps are needed to be followed to fix the error you are facing:
Step 1: Right-Click On The File
Click with the right button of your mouse on the file or folder you intend to delete or modify. It will open a menu.
Step 2: Select Unlocker
Once you right-click on it, a new option named “unlocker” will be there in the menu appearing in front of you. Select this option.
On selecting the “Unlocker” option, the “Unlocker” window will open up. In this window, you will see whether the file with which you are facing the problem has been locked by some process.
In case it has been locked by a process, the list of such processes will be shown to you by Unlocker.
Step 3: Select “Unlock All”
Once you have a list of all the culprit processes in front of you, all you need to do is just hit “Unlock All.” And it’s done.
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Method 2: Rebooting The Computer In The “Safe Mode”
Rebooting the computer in “Safe Mode” is another solution to the You need permission to perform this action problem.
That’s because whenever you start Windows in Safe Mode, only the programs related to Windows are loaded.
And those programs are loaded with the minimum possible settings. Just follow the steps mentioned below to restart your PC/laptop in “Safe Mode”:
For Windows 7 and Vista
Step 1: Restart The Computer
First, restart your PC/laptop and keep on pressing the F8 key over and over again until the “Advanced Boot Menu” appears.
And in case you do not see this menu, you will need to restart and repeatedly press the F8 key until the menu appears.
Step 2: Select the “Safe Mode With Networking”
Once you get to see the menu, select “Safe Mode with Networking” from the menu. To select this option from the menu, you will need to use the arrow keys available on your keyboard.
Step 3: Press the “Enter” Key
The last step is to hit the “Enter” key from the keyboard after selecting the desired option from the menu. The computer will start in Safe Mode with Networking when you press the key.
For Windows 8/8.1/10/11
Step 1: Open the “Run” Window
First, press the “Windows + R” keys from your keyboard, and it will open the “Run” window.
Step 2: Type “msconfig”
Once you are on the “Run” window, type “msconfig” and press the “Enter” key from your keyboard.
Step 3: Select Safe Boot
The next step is to go to the “Boot” tab and check the “Safe boot” checkbox available in the boot options.
Once it is done, click the “Apply” button and hit the “OK” button. Then you can restart your system, and it’s done!
Method 3: Adding Permissions To Drive
If you somehow manage to alter the permissions of the entire drive, it can also help you fix the error in some cases.
To change the permissions for the entire drive, you will have to follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Go To Properties of The Drive
First, open “My Computer” and click the right button of your mouse on the drive or partition containing the folder or file with which you are facing the problem while trying to delete or modify.
After right-clicking on the partition, a menu will open in front of you. Select “Properties” from that menu.
Once you are in properties, the next step is to go to the “Security” tab and hit the “Edit” button.
Next, you must click the “Add” button and choose the “Advanced” option. Choose “Find Now” and scroll down.
While scrolling down, once you get over to “Everyone,” double-click on it, then click on the “OK” button.
Step 3: Modify Permissions
You will have to check the “Full Control” checkbox in the next window. And you will have to modify the permissions for “Everyone.” Once you are done with it, just click on “Apply” and then hit the “OK” button. And that’s all.
Method 4: Creating .bat File to Fix You Need Permission to Perform this Action on Windows
In case Windows cannot recognize the permissions applied to the file that you are facing a problem with, it will be better if you decide to create a .bat file.
After creating the file, run it as administrator. Below given are the steps needed to be followed:
Step 1: Create A Text File
First, you will need to create a text file on your computer’s desktop and save that newly created file with the .bat extension name.
Step 2: Add Lines
The next step is to open the newly created text file in the text editor & add to it the lines given below:
SET DIRECTORY_NAME=”C:\Locked Directory”
TAKEDOWN /f %DIRECTORY_NAME% /r /d y
ICACLS %DIRECTORY_NAME% /grant administrators:F /t
Step 3: Replace The Path Name
You should replace the “C:\Locked Directory” with the pathname of the folder with which you are facing the problem. And that’s all.
Method 5: Checking Permissions
The last method in this list of solutions to fix the error “You need permission to perform this action” on Windows is to check permissions.
For you to apply this method, the following steps are needed to be followed:
Step 1: Go To “Properties”
First, click with the right button of your mouse on the file or folder showing the error while trying to modify.
Once you right-click on it, a menu will appear in front of you. Select “Properties” from the menu.
On selecting the “Properties,” a dialogue box for “Logs Properties” will open up. Go to the “Security” tab available in that dialogue box.
In the Security tab, there is a button labeled “Advanced.” Click on that button.
Step 3: Go To the “Permission” Tab
A new dialogue box will appear when you hit the “Advanced” button. Under the “Permission” tab in that new dialogue box, you should ensure that the user account you possess has full control of the folder and subfolders.
If it is not found to be with full control, you should select the user name and click on the “Change Permissions” button provided in the bottom area of the dialogue box.
Step 4: Change Permission
The next step is to check the box provided with the “Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object” option and uncheck the “Include inheritable permissions from this object’s parent” option.
And after checking and unchecking these checkboxes, click on the “Add” button.
Step 5: Type Your Username
You should type the username in the field labeled “Enter the object name to select” if you are using Windows 7.
But if you are on Windows 8 or a later version of Windows, you will first need to click on “Select a Principal” and then type your user name in the field labeled “Enter the object name to select.”
Once you are done typing the username, just hit the OK button.
Step 6: Apply “Full Control”
Next, a new dialogue box will come up, in which you just have to click on the “Full Control” option and hit the “OK” button. And it’s finally done.
Encountering the “You need permission to perform this action” error on Windows can be frustrating, but thankfully, there are several methods to resolve it. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can regain control over your files and folders and carry out the desired actions without any permission-related restrictions.
Remember to take ownership of files or folders, adjust permissions, disable User Account Control (UAC), run applications as an administrator, use Command Prompt if necessary, check for malware or viruses, utilize third-party file management tools, update Windows and drivers, reset file and folder permissions, and reinstall applications if needed.
By applying these methods, you can overcome the permission-related issues and ensure smooth operations on your Windows computer.
Q1. Why am I seeing the “You need permission to perform this action” error? This error occurs when your user account lacks the necessary permissions to access, modify, or delete a specific file or folder.
Q2. Can I fix the error by taking ownership of the file or folder? Yes, taking ownership of the file or folder is one of the methods to fix the error. It allows you to gain full control over the file or folder.
Q3. Should I disable User Account Control (UAC) to resolve the error? Disabling UAC can help resolve the error in some cases. However, it is recommended to exercise caution as disabling UAC reduces the overall security of your system.
Q4. What if none of the methods mentioned in the article work? If none of the methods mentioned in the article work, you can seek further assistance from Windows support forums or consult a professional IT technician for advanced troubleshooting.
Q5. How can I prevent the “You need permission to perform this action” error in the future? To minimize the occurrence of this error, ensure that you log in with an administrator account, regularly update Windows and drivers, and exercise caution when downloading and installing applications from untrusted sources.