How to Copy and Backup Files without Admin Rights

Does Windows warn you that 'You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file' when you are trying to copy and backup some useful files on your computer? This page will show you how to copy and backup files without admin rights and fix Windows warning issue with simple clicks.

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Updated by Jean on Feb 22, 2023
Written by Tracy King

"You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error has occurred to many people in Windows 10/8/7. Most ordinary users may do not know what’s going on with their computer or devices when this error message pops on. 

Error: cannot copy files without admin right.

Effective methods are available here to help:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Copy Files Without Admin Rights in 3 steps You can copy or backup files and folders without administrator permission by using EaseUS Todo Backup...Full steps
Method 2. Fix Error and Copy Files Fix "Need administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error in three steps and copy files...Full steps

Windows 10 asks me for administrator permission when I tried to copy files, help!

"'You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file/folder' error message kept popping up when I tried to copy and backup files from my Windows 10 computer to an external hard drive. 

I thought that I might have connected the external hard drive to the computer in a wrong way that caused the file copying failure. So I reconnect the external hard drive to the computer via a new USB port and retry to copy files again, still get the same notice for asking admin rights. So how can I backup and copy files without admin rights? And is it possible to fix the Windows keeps asking admin rights issue on my own?"

Method 1. Copy Files Without Admin Rights

If you are urgent, and you want to copy or backup files and folders right now on your computer. But the system won’t allow you to do so, keeping asking you for administrator permission.

Install and use the best Windows backup and recovery software as a quick fix to copy and backup your files to the target storage device in only three steps:

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Step 1. To begin the backup process, click the Select backup contents button.

create file backup step1

Step 2. Four data backup categories are listed: File, Disk, OS, and Mail.

create file backup step2

Step 3. Lists of both local and network files are shown on the left-hand side of the screen. Expanding the directory so that you can choose the files to back up.

File backup

Step 4. Follow the guidance on the screen and choose the place where you want to store the back up.

File backup step4

Make sure that the backup is encrypted and set the backup schedule by clicking Options in Backup Options. You can also choose to start the backup at a certain time in Backup Scheme by clicking Options. There are many other customizable options that you can look into.

Backup options

Step 5. You can store the backup file either on your computer, in EaseUS's cloud service, or on a network-attached storage device (NAS).

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup enables customers store backup copies of their files on a third-party cloud drive or on the company's own cloud storage.

If you want to back up your data on a third-party cloud drive, select Local Drive and scroll down to add Cloud Device. Then fill in your account information.

Backup to cloud
Click EaseUS Cloud, then sign up and log in with your EaseUS account if you wish to store backup files to EaseUS' own cloud storage service.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. Click on Backup Now to start a backup.  When the backup process is done, it will display as a card on the left-hand side of the screen. A right-click will let you see more about how to handle the backup job in more depth.

File backup step7

Then all you need is to wait for the process to complete and then you’ll get all wanted files backed up and copied to target storage device.

Further Information: If you need to use the backed up files, you can use the Browse to Recover feature in EaseUS Todo Backup to recover the file image to a secure location and make use of them again.

Method 2. Fix "Need administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error and copy files

Mostly, when you are asked to provide the administrator permission or admin rights, you’ll need to take the ownership of the folder or file to access or open it with below tips:

Step 1. Take the Ownership of a File or Folder

1. Open "Windows Explorer" and locate the file/folder, right-click on it and select "Properties".

Take ownership of file or folder.

2. Go to Security and click "Advanced", go to "Owner" tab.

Fix 'You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy files or folder' error.

3. If you want to change the owner to a user or group that is not listed: Click "Change" > "Other user and groups", and type the name of the user or group in "Enter the object name to select", then click "Check Names" > "OK".

Change owner to take a ownership of target files or folders.

4. If you want to change a user or a group that is listed:

Click new owner in the "Change" to box and make changes.

Change a user.

5. If you want to change the owner of all sub containers and objects within the tree: Select "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" box.

Change subcontainers to fix 'you'll need administrator permission' issue.

Step 2. Turn off UAC or User Account Control

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search", type: control panel, and then click "Control Panel".

Fix 'cannot copy files' error.

2. Select "Large icons" that are on the right panel under "View".
3. Locate and click on "User Account", click "Change User Accounts Control Settings".

Use Control Panel to fix 'cannot copy files' error.

4. Change to "Never notify" and click "OK".

Fix 'cannot copy files without admin right' error.

5. Once you complete the process, change the slider to "Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer", click "OK" to keep all changes.

Turn off UAC or User Account Control to fix 'can't copy files without admin right' error.

Step 3. Enable the Built-in Administrator Account

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search", type: command prompt and right-click on it, select "Run as administrator".

Run Command Prompt to fix 'cannot copy files' error.

2. Click "Yes" to allow Command Prompt run on your PC.

Allow Command Prompt to run and fix 'can't copy files' error.

3. Type: net user administrator /active:yes in command prompt and hit Enter.

Fix 'Cannot copy files without admin right' error by using cmd.

After this, you can continue to try copy files without admin permission or admin rights without any problems by then.

Final Word

If you are an urgent user who wants to copy files to other storage devices but Windows doesn't allow you to do so without admin right, relax.

You can follow both Method 1 and Method 2 to quickly and thoroughly resolve this error with ease now.


1. How do I remove administrator permission from a file?

You can remove the administrator permission from a file by following the steps below: Open Windows Explore, Right click on the file, Click on Properties, Under the Security tab, Click on Edit. In the Permissions window that appears, uncheck the Allow box next to Full Control. Finally, click OK to save your changes.

2. Why does my computer say I need administrator permission?

Several reasons are possible for this issue, including that: You're not logged in as an administrator, The file you're trying to access is protected by Windows, or Your user account doesn't have the necessary permissions. To fix this, try logging in as an administrator, or changing the permissions for the file.

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Updated by Jean

Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 10 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions to resolve Windows & Mac data recovery, data backup, partition management, data transfer, Windows update issues, etc.

Read full bio

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