How to Fix Location Is Not Available, Access Is Denied Error in Windows 10/8/7

This page covers useful fixes to solve location is not available, access is denied error on Windows 10/8/7. To avoid data loss, use EaseUS data recovery software to recover data before fixing. Read for an in-depth guide.

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Table of Contents

How to fix location is not available on Windows 10? Here is a quick overview of the effective methods. 

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Important. Restore data from inaccessible hard drive first When the hard drive is inaccessible, restore data from the hard drive at first to avoid any data loss...Full steps
Fix 1. Add authenticated users You can fix the inaccessible drive by adding an authenticated user. Locate the drive or folder...Full steps
Fix 2. Take the ownership of the drive Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive, and choose "Properties".  Click "Security" > "Advanced"...Full steps
Fix 3. Run CHKDSK command  If your file system goes wrong, you can use CHKDSK commands to fixing file system errors...Full steps
Fix 4. Decrypt the file or folder If the encrypting file system goes wrong, you can't access it. You should decrypt the file or folder...Full steps
  • "Location is not available. X:\ is not accessible. The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted."
  • "Location is not available.  X:\ is not accessible. Access is denied."

Drive is not accessible access is denied error

When you access a hard drive or an external hard drive in Windows 10/8/7, you may encounter "the location is not available" problem, which means that your hard drive is inaccessible. You can't read or change a file or folder in it. But don't panic. You will learn several ways to fix Windows 10 location is not available, access is denied error in this how-to article.

First Thing to Do: Restore Data from Inaccessible Hard Drive 

When the location is not available and the hard drive goes wrong, you are advised to use data recovery software to restore data from the hard drive before starting to solve the problem.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best hard drive data recovery software to restore data from RAW hard drive, external USB drive, SD card, and other storage drives caused by the location is not available error. With this data recovery tool, you can:

  • Recover permanently deleted files in different data loss situations.
  • Recover lost documents, photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage safely.
  • Repair corrupted files during data recovery on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. 
  • Restore data from emptied Recycle bin, formatted/corrupted hard drive, lost partitions, and more.
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It's an essential tool for everyone who meets unexpected data loss and demands an instant data recovery with ease. You can export the data from the inaccessible drive to another location for data safe.

Free download EaseUS data recovery software and follow the details below to restore inaccessible data.

Step 1. Select the hard drive which becomes inaccessible on your PC. Click "Scan" to let this program scan and find your hard drive data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. After the scan, you can preview and check found files on the scanning result window.

The "Deleted Files", "Files Lost Original Name" or "Tags" can help you locate the lost files. You can also click "Filter" to quickly find a specific type of file. Then, you can preview the file by double-clicking it.

select wanted files

Step 3. Finally, select the items you want to retrieve and click "Recover".

Choose a secure location (a healthy physical drive on your PC or another external storage device) and click "OK" to start recovering all lost data from your inaccessible hard drive.

recover data from inaccessible drive
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4 Effective Fixes for Location Is Not Available Windows 10 

If this error happens when the user tries to access a file/folder or try to modify its contents, a number of fixes can be performed to fix the issue. Keep reading and go through the solutions one by one.

Fix 1. Enable the User and Administrator Permissions (Authenticated Users)

After you have retrieved data, you can fix the inaccessible drive by adding an authenticated user. Locate the drive or folder which you can't access. 

Step 1. Right-click on it and choose the "Properties" option

Step 2. Select the "Security" tab, and click on "Edit".

Step 3. Click on the "Add" button, and then, add "Authenticated User".

Step 4. Under the Permission section, check "Full control". Then, click on "OK".

add authenticated user

Fix 2. Take the Ownership of the Inaccessible Drive

If you don't have permission of accessing the hard drive, Windows denies your access. You may also receive the not available error. To access the drive, you should take ownership of the drive.

Step 1. Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive, and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Click "Security" > "Advanced", and then click the "Owner" tab.

Step 3. Click "Change". on the popped up screen, in the "Enter the object name to select" field, enter Administrators, or enter your user name. Then, click the "Check Names". If all goes well, the input will change. Click "OK" to save changes.

Step 4. The owner section will now change. Check "Replace owner on sub containers and objects" and click "Apply" and "OK" to save changes. Or you can check the "Replace all child object permission entries" option. 

take the owner ship

Fix 3. Run CHKDSK Command to Fix Corrupted Hard Drive

If your file system goes wrong, you can follow this method. The CHKDSK marks the bad sectors and prevents data corruption by fixing file system errors. 

Step 1. Press the "Windows" key and type cmd.

Step 2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Enter the following command: chkdsk e: /f /r /x. ("e" means the drive letter of the partition you want to repair)

Step 4. After the process, shut down the window. Try to access the hard drive or external hard drive again.

run chkdsk command

Fix 4. Decrypt the File or Folder

You may also receive the message if your file or folder with the file is encrypted. You can only open this folder with an encryption certificate. If the encrypting file system goes wrong, you can't access it. You should decrypt the file or folder on Windows 10/8/7:

Step  1. Go to the Command Prompt.

Step  2. Enter Cipher.exe /d, and then, press "Enter" to decrypt the file.

Step  3. After the process, copy the decrypted file on your computer’s hard disk.

Step  4. Enter Cipher.exe /r to back up EFS certificates and keys.

Step 5. Try to open the inaccessible file to see if it works.


After trying all the solutions above, you may have solved your problem. If you have a better method to fix the location is not available, access is denied error, you can share with us. Remember to recover data in advance to avoid data loss by using EaseUS data recovery software.

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.4

Related Topics You Need to Check Out About Location Is Not Available

If you also have any of the following frequently asked questions about location is not available, find solutions here.

Why Windows 10 Location Is Not Available Occurs

Why does my computer say the location is not available? Why do you fail to access the location? Various factors can cause this issue, such as:

  • Unplug removable drive improperly
  • File system (NTFS, FAT) goes wrong
  • HDD power failure 
  • Bad sectors
  • Encrypted file or folder

How do you fix C:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile\desktop is unavailable Windows 10?

How do you fix desktop refers to a location that is unavailable error? You can:

  • Repair corrupt system files on the hard drive
  • Reset desktop's location
  • Move profile's content back to its location
  •  Create a new user profile

How to fix Location is not available. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable?

When you encounter the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable issue, try the ways below:

  • Repair disk errors with a partition manager tool
  • Fix corrupted file system using CHKDSK utility
  • Format disk to solve the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable issue

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Jean

Author 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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