Take Ownership

There is some little software around to take ownership of files and folders in Windows 7. When I was installing Windows 7 Ultimate, I took ownership of all I could find. Then a few things no more worked and I had to reinstall... Luckily, I had almost only the basic installation done.

I and others would certainly appreciate detailed advice about what you can without problems take ownership of, and where you should not do it. And also about the best software for the purpose.


Extraordinary Member
Premium Supporter
If this is the one you mean Add "Take Ownership" to Explorer Right-Click Menu in Win 7 or Vista - How-To Geek

... it usually works fine. The main problem is that Windows 7 is extremely paranoid, especially concerning the folder Program Files. Even if you are the sole user of the computer, and Windows tells you are the Administrator - it may not allow you all rights. Thus, in many cases, it may be easier to install programs / games directly to C --- not Program Files.

Just the latest whimsy of Microsoft. :)

I had hoped for a more concrete and detailed reply telling which folders and files can safely be taken ownership of and which not.

In my Win7, the following are not accessible (and myaby just a few more I missed in a short searched):
2a181ba621897bc56ee637 with subfolders amd64 and i386, the latter are “no permission”
Documents and Settings
Possibly Admin subfolder under PerfLogs (now empty)
Under Program Data: Application Data, Desktop, Documents, Favorites, Start Menu, Templates
System Volume Information
Users > Administrator: Application Data, Cookies, Local Settings, My Documents, Net Hood, Print Hood, Recent, Send To, Start Menu, Templates
All Users > Application Data, Desktop, Favorites, Start Menu, Templates
Default > Application Data, Cookies, Documents: All subfolders, Local Settings, My Documents, Net Hood, Print Hood, Recent, Send To, Start Menu, Templates
Default User
[My Name] > Application Data, Cookies, Local Settings, My Documents (another My Documents is accessible), Net Hood, Print Hood, Recent, Send To, Start Menu, Templates
UpdatusUser > Application Data, Cookies, Local Settings, My Documents, Net Hood, Print Hood, Recent, Send To, Start Menu, Templates

Does anyone have experiences with TakeOwnershipEx-, Add-Take-Ownership-Option, Take_Ownership and takeownership. Some of these can also remove taking ownership -hopefully without problems.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I only use the Take Ownership app when I need too.

I use...

Grant Admin Full Control


When I run into a problem I use it on that specific file or folder, I don't recommend just applying it to folders in general.

Make sure you have turned off the UAC that will save a lot of hassles.

Even then it can drive you crazy, I spent a half hour trying to delete a Windows.Old folder a few days ago and never did succeed.
I even switched to my Windows 8 install and tried to delete it from my Windows 7 drive and it still wouldn't uninstall, and take ownership didn't help either.

I'll get it the next time I boot from my Linux disk.


Thanks, Mike.

If I may make a general comment:
Why does Microsoft want to keep us in their leading-strings? This is supposed to serve safety, since hackers, viruses (and unauthorized persons) cannot change, add or remove certain files. That is nonsense! In reality it reduces safety, since hackers etc. will already long have found out how to overcome these obstacles. Thus they can do things in the system – but the owner cannot access sensitive areas to check and if needed correct… (for Microsoft, this is of course no obstacle against spying in your computer). But if you, like me, have Windows XP in a separate partition, this offers certain possibilities to enter blocked Windows 7 files through a “back door”.

This is one of the reasons reasons why I will hardly have Windows 8 in my computer ... Rather Linux ...


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I don't think that's their motivation.
I think, they think they are protecting us from ourselves.
And it probably does keep some people from screwing up their computers occasionally but it's a pain if you know what you are doing.

I've found that Widows 8 is less of a problem then 7 in this respect.
I still have some battles with it but not like 7, I've never figured out why it doesn't want me to access a folder I created myself the day before.

I'd use Linux if it was a real option but most of the stuff I run just won't work in anything but Windows.

When I'm done testing W8 I think I'll install Ubuntu in it's place (I'm so used to dual booting now anyway).

It's nice to have when you want to do something that Windows won't let you do, or save your stuff if Windows is acting up.
I've been using it from a bootable disk for years in emergencies I might as well just install in on it's own partition.


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