It's Easy to Fix Access Is Denied (Focus on Disk and Folder) - MiniTool (2023)

Have you receive the error “drive is not accessible access is denied” or destination folder access denied in Windows 10/8/7? Take it easy now! This post will show you thebest file recovery software- MiniTool Power Data Recovery to restore data from the inaccessible hard drive. It will also show you the steps to fix the folder with access denied.

Access Is Denied Windows 10/8/7

It is actually quite often that a user’s access gets denied. When a user gets their access denied, an error message shows up – the exact message could be different depending on the situation. For example, it can be “Location is not available. X:\ is not accessible. Access is denied.”, “Folder Access Denied. You need permission to perform this action”, etc.

If you are getting an access denied error in Windows 10/8/7, take it easy. Here we will show you some possible ways to solve two kinds of access denied problem: USB or external hard drive access denied and file/folder access denied.

Hard Drive Is Not Accessible. Access Is Denied

Usually, when the access to a drive gets denied unexpectedly, it is on an external hard drive or USB flash drive.Here is a common error message: “Drive is not accessible. Access is denied”.

In different situations, you may get other error messages:

In a word, this error clearly indicates that thepermission of this drive is corrupted. As a result, you cannot access the files and folders stored on the disk. Well then, what’re the solutions?

Solutions to USB/External Hard Drive Access Denied

Before fixing the hard drive is not accessible (access is denied) error, you should transfer out the data from the drive at once – unless the drive does not contain any important data at all.

In the following contents, we will first introduce the method to recover data from an inaccessible drive and how to make it accessible again in Windows 10/8/7.

Solution 1: Recover Data from Inaccessible Drive

Both inexperienced and experienced users may need a professional andfree data recovery softwareto recover files from an inaccessible drive.

Well, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is recommended here since it is safe, professional and user-friendly. Recovering files from the inaccessible drive is easy with its powerful recovery module in Windows 10/8/7.

Now, get this software for a trial. Here the trial edition can only scan data but not perform final recovery; you can use it to check the scan result and then upgrade to a full edition like Personal Ultimate if it finds our needed files.

Note:Never install it on the drive that you are trying to recover data from. Install it on a separate drive.

Step 1: Choose a Drive to Recover

  1. Launch MiniTool Power Data Recovery to its maininterface.
  2. Choose the drive with the “access is denied” errorand click the Scan button to go on.

Tip:Sometimes you may experience the not accessible fatal device hardware error; you can also recover data. Just read our previous post:The Request Failed Due To A Fatal Device Hardware Error – Best Solution to know more detailed information.

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Note: You can click Settings before the scanin order to specify needed file systems as well as file types, as shown below.

For example, to recover word document, you can unfold Document and only check .doc and .docx file types.

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Step 2: Scan the Drive with the Access Denied Error

  1. This software will start scanning the inaccessible drive. Whiling scanning, it will list any files it finds.
  2. We advise you to not click Pause or Stop during the scan process. For the best recovery result, wait until the full scan completes.

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Step 3: Choose Files to Recover

  1. To find required files, you can unfold each folder in path section, or use Type, Find & Filteroptions.
  2. Check all needed files at the end of the scan.
  3. Click the Save button.

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Step 4: Save Files to a Location

  1. Choose a safe place to save the recovered files.
  2. It is recommended that you store needed files to another drive. Otherwise, some lost data may be overwritten.

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With just a few clicks, you can easily recover data from inaccessible drive in Windows 10/8/7 without affecting the original data since MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a read-only tool; it can keep data safe all the time.

In addition to recovering data from a drive with the “access is denied” error, this tool can also help you to recover data from a lost or formatted partition on various storage devices, including an external hard drive, USB flash drive,memory stick, pen drive, etc.

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After that, you may also use the Format Partition function of Windows Disk Management or MiniTool Partition Wizard – free partition manager, to make your hard drive usable again.

Solution 2: Uninstall Drive or USB Device

If the error – drive is not accessible access is denied happen in Windows 10/8/7, you can choose uninstall a device driver.

Step 1:Open the Device Managerby typing device manager or devmgmt.msc into the search bar on the Start menu.

Step 2: Find the hard drive or USB device in the list and right-click on it to choose Uninstall device.

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Step 3: When it’s gone, please click on Scan for hardware changes.

Solution 3: Take Ownership of the Drive

To fix the drive is not accessible access is denied error in Windows 10/8/7, you can take ownership for the target drive.

Step 1: Open the Windows Explorer and find the inaccessible drive.

Step 2: Right-click on the inaccessible drive and choose Properties.

Step 3: Shift to the Security tab, and then click Advanced in this window.

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Step 4: Change permissions according to needs. (Or you can click on Edit directly in step 3)

Solution 4: Resort to CHKDSK Command

Step 1: Type cmd into the search box to open Command Prompt.

Step 2: Type chkdsk /r h: into the pop-up window and press Enter. (h is the drive letter of the target partition)

Step 3: Wait for the completion of the process.

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Solution 5: Replace the Drive with a New One

Now, if none of the solutions above can fix this error, your hard drive might have some physical problems. If that is true, you should consider replacing it with a new hard drive.

Note: If the hard drive is physically damaged, data recovery software can no longer be used to recover its data even if you use MiniTool Power Data Recovery. At this time, you should try asking a professional data recovery company for help.

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Access Denied Error When Accessing Files or Folders

In addition to the external hard drive access denied issue, you might encounter the file/folder access denied error when you try to access or work with files or folders in Windows 10/8/7. Here are three common error messages:

  • Access denied.
  • XXis not accessible. Access is denied.(Here XX represents the folder you cannot open.)
  • File / Folder Access Denied.

Case 1: Access Denied

Sometimes you may encounter an error saying “Access denied” in Windows 10/8/7, as shown below:

When accessing or making changes to a file or folder or upgrading from a previous version of Windows, this error may occur since you don’t have the appropriate permissions, the folder ownership has changed or the file/folder is corrupted.


1. Take the Ownership of the File or Folder

If you have upgraded your machine to the most recent OS such as Windows 10, your account information may have changed during the process. In this case, you may no longer have ownership of some of your files or folders.

The ways to take the ownership are different in Windows 10 & 8 or Windows 7. Now, this post –Access Denied” or other errors when you access or work with files and folders in Windowswill show you how to take ownership of file or folder.

2. Get the Proper Permissions

Note: Since an administrator has the privileges to modify permissions of a file or folder, you should log in your operating system as an administrator before going on.

Step 1: Right-click the file or folder with the “Access is denied” error, and click Properties.

Step 2: In the Security tab, choose Edit to open the Permissions dialog for this file or folder.

Step 3: Click your name in the Group or user names box and check Allow of the Full control option in the Permissions for Users box.

Step 4: Click the OK button.

Sometimes you may encounter the issue – Windows access is denied although you access the file or folder as the administrator. And here this forum “I’m the administrator but access is denied” tells you the solution.

3. Recover Your Data

If the file is corrupted, it cannot be repaired and the only thing you can do is to recover data from a backup copy.

Case 2: Folder Is Not Accessible. Access Is Denied

When opening a file or folder in Windows Explorer, you may receive the following error saying it is not accessible.

This access denied error message can occur for one or more of the followingreasons:

  • The folder ownership may have changed.
  • You do not have the proper permissions.
  • The file may be encrypted.


1. Take the Ownership of the File or Folder

2. Change permission

These two solutions are the same as case 1, thus, we won’t repeat them in details.

3. Decrypt the file or folder

No doubt, encryption can help you to protect files and folders from unwanted access. If you do not have access to a file or folder, it is possible the file is encrypted.

Read this“Access Is Denied” Error Message Appears When Permissions Are Correctpost to find detailed information to solve this problem.

Case 3: File/Folder Access Denied

When trying to delete, copy, move or change a file or folder on your computer, you may be blocked by Windows folder access denied administrator issue, prompting you don’t have permission to do so. The error message could be – Folder Access Denied.

Sometimes you may encounter “Destination Folder Access Denied” error message.

This error may be caused for the reasons:

  • The file is in use.
  • You do not have permission.
  • The file is corrupt
  • The user profile might be corrupt.


1. Take ownership

2. Get the proper permission

3. Decrypt the file

We have introduced these three solutions in the above contents, hence, we won’t show you here.

4. Create a New Local User Account

Occasionally, Windows may not read your local user profile, preventing you from accessing files and folders. To fix access is denied error, you may need to use a new local user profile.

For Windows 7

Step 1: Click Start to choose Control Panel.

Step 2: Click Add or remove user accounts.

Step 3: Choose Create a new account under the Manage Accounts tab.

Step 4: Type the new account name and click Create Account.

For Windows 10/8

Go to PC settings > Users > Add a user (Win 8) or go to Settings > Account>Family & other peopleorOther people >Add someone else to this PC (Win10) to start the new account creation by following the instructions.

Brief Conclusion

After seeing the above introduction, you must have a basic understanding of the “access is denied” error on a hard drive or a file/folder and know how to cope with it clearly in Windows 10/8/7.

In a nutshell, when you find your external hard drive or USB drive is not accessible, you had better recover data from inaccessible drive at first in case any accidents that could damage it completely. If you encounter the access denied error when accessing a file or folder, try the above solutions according to the actual cases.

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please leave your idea in the following comment section or send an email to [emailprotected].

Drive Is Not Accessible Access Is Denied Windows 10 FAQ

How do I fix D drive not accessible?

  1. Uninstall drive or USB device drivers
  2. Take Ownership of the drive
  3. Use CHKDSK command
  4. Replace your disk with a new one

How do you reset permissions on an external hard drive?

  1. Run Command Prompt with administrative rights.
  2. Input the takeown /f e:\ /r command and press Enter. E means the drive letter of the external hard drive.
  3. Right-click the external drive to choose Properties.
  4. Go to Security > Edit.
  5. Choose Authenticated Users and allow Full control.

How do I run chkdsk on an external hard drive?

You can use the Check utility in Windows to run a disk check for your external hard drive.

  1. Right-click your drive in Windows Explorer and choose Properties.
  2. Go to Tools > Check. Then, Windows will begin scanning the drive for errors.

What is meant by Access Denied?

When accessing access denied, it means your system cannot retrieve the file that the user is requesting. That is, the user doesn’t have access permission to the file or the file is already used.

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