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If you have a stubborn file that you cannot delete or move, then you will need to take ownership of the file to allow you to carry out any action on it.

To do this is a pretty simple process, just follow our step by step guide below to carry this out and enable you to take control back of your files!


First of all, you will require an elevated command prompt. So, click the Start button and type in CMD which should bring up the command prompt option in your start menu, instead of left clicking the command prompt, right click on it and select Run as Administrator:

How to take ownership of a Windows File 1

This will then open up an elevated command prompt as you can see from the top of the window:

How to take ownership of a Windows File 2

Then type in the following commands, hitting the Enter key after each one:

  • takeown /F “PATH TO FILE”
  • icacls “PATH TO FILE” /grant administrators:F

How to take ownership of a Windows File 3

How to take ownership of a Windows File 4

You will now have full ownership of the file stated and you should now be able to go ahead with changing or deleting the file.


If you have any questions or feedback on this guide, please feel free to leave us a message in our comments section below and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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Andrew Armstrong

Founder of TechyGeeksHome and Head Editor for over 15 years! IT expert in multiple areas for over 26 years. Sharing experience and knowledge whenever possible! Making IT Happen.

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