Administrator but now can't view my own documents

I have a vista laptop which has been working fine for ages. It is vista home and am the only user so when I check the user accounts it gives only me and I am the administrator.
However in the last few days I havent had access rights to see any of the users documents. There is a shortcut arrow on the file icons and it says access denied. I have tried with UAC turned off but nothing changes. I did manage to get into one file by changing the list folder security settings in the folder properties but others don't even let me see these.
I run McAfee which scans clean and I can't remember anything I've done to change this.
Does anyone have any ideas please. I completely stuck.

That was a nice article and something I'd already experimented with a bit but still does not solve the problem.
I can change the owner of the file but always get access denied.
One thing that concerns me is that it's only files that have a shortcut style arrow on them. I'm sure the my documents folder never had a shortcut arrow before. It just appeared when this problem started


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
The shortcut arrow could indicate that the files are actually located outside of your Documents folder. If this is the case, you may not have permission to access the folder they are in. This may sound strange, but it is Vista's way of providing security for systems with multiple user accounts. What I suggest you do is right click on one of these files with the shortcut icon and check the properties. Find out the physical location the shortcut is pointing to. You would then need to make a change to the security of that folder, not the Documents folder.

Yes I've checked that.
I've looked directly in the C:/users/ etc folders
Of course I can't look inside the folders as I don't have access.


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
The folders with the arrows on them are known as junctions. They are there only for backward compatibility purpose. For example, if an old install uses one of those folders in its process, Vista will redirect it to the correct, new folder. It is dangerous to try and alter the security and access the junctions, as it will really screw up your paths.
Have a read here for another explanation, and the location of the folders now in Vista

That's it.
It would have been nice if the junctions had redirected to the new locations like shortcuts do.
But they just say access denied and don't say the information is stored somewhere else now.
I guess I'd always found what I was looking for but this time could not locate it so thought something had changed.

Thanks everyone.


Former Moderator
A wish "Vista Made" that particular topic more user friendly also. Simple English would be a start. Like: (this is only a junction point, your real file is located in..........) All that technical jargon about where to find the file is confusing. :confused:

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.