Fix: Windows Cannot Access the Specified Device, Path or File Error

Jean updated on Jun 12, 2019 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles

Summary

Receiving 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You don't have the appropriate permission to access the item' error while trying to start a program or open a Word file. Don't worry about being unable to access your important files, EaseUS data recovery software can help find files which were even removed, deleted, hidden, transferred, etc.

Error Details

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item."

Windows cannot access the specified device , path or file

You may receive the exact error while you are trying to start a program or open a file on your Windows computer. Apparently, simply gaining the required permission doesn't solve the error effectively, that's why so many people are posting the same question and asking further help from Microsoft support and some prevailing forums.

So, what are the possible reasons that make Windows fail to access the specified device, path or file as normal? What's the reason that you don't currently have permission to access the folder? What sensible suggestions should you follow to make sure that you don't necessarily lose programs and files?

Now, read on the causes and the solutions. Then solve this error without losing the access to important data files on a specified device.

Four Causes for "Windows cannot access the specified device path or file" Error

As long as you see the message "Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item", you must think of the four reasons below:

  • You don't have permission to the file or file location.
  • File location\path isn't accessible or even doesn't exist.
  • Antivirus software prevents files from opening.
  • The file has been deleted, removed, transferred or hidden by the virus.

Method 1: Gain the Permission of the File or Folder

Now that the error suggests that "you may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item", you should first check if you have the permission of the file or folder. To gain permission to access a file or a location, do as follows.

Step 1: Right-click the file or folder and select "Properties".

Step 2: Under Group or User names, click your name to see the permissions you have.

Step 3: Select "Edit", where you can have permissions like full control, modify, read & execute, read, write or special permissions. Choose the permissions you need and click "OK".

gain the permission of the folder or file

Method 2: Check the File Location

You may also get this error if the shortcut or installation is attempting to access a location that is not currently available such as a networked or a removable drive. Check the path of the file and make sure that the location is accessible.

Step 1: Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties.

Step 2: Under the General tab, check the Location, make sure that the file path is correct and accessible.

check the file location

Method 3: Disable Antivirus and Unlock the File/Folder

What antivirus software are you using? You can check to see if your antivirus software is blocking a file by temporarily disabling it, and then trying to open the file. Then unlock the file. In some cases, the file may be blocked by Windows. You can check the properties of a file to see if it is blocked. 

  • Right-click the blocked file and then select "Properties".
  • In the General tab, select "Unblock" if the option is available.

Method 4: Recover the Deleted/Removed/Corrupted File

If the 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file' error was caused by an unknown deletion, corruption, feel free to download EaseUS data recovery software to bring lost data back. This powerful data recovery software can not only recover files but also recover photos, pictures, images, audios, and videos from HDD, USB or external hard drive. If your inaccessible files or folders are on a removable hard drive or flash disk, connect it to a Windows PC where EaseUS hard drive recovery software installed. Make sure the software has detected your device.

Now, follow the steps to recover files which Windows cannot access normally.

Step 1. Connect your device to PC.

If you lost files on an external storage device, connect the storage device to your computer firstly.

Step 2. Run this software and scan the lost file.

Run EaseUS file recovery software - Data Recovery Wizard on your PC, specify the location where you lost files and click "Scan" to scan those lost files.

Run data recovery software.

Step 3. Preview and restore file.

After the scanning, you can find and double-click to preview your lost files here:

  • Delete Files: All your deleted files are listed here.
  • Drive (with your device name): It loads all lost files here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if your hard drive is formatted or partition gets deleted.
  • Extra Files: All files that lost names or paths on your drive can be found here.
Scan and find lost files.

Step 4. Choose and restore files.

Finally, select the found files, click "Recover" and navigate to save them to a secure location on your PC or another external storage device.

Restore lost files.

All the provided fixes and file recovery solution aims to resolve 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path, and file' error, which might occur on desktop contents, explorer.exe, and other locations when opening a file, trying to install, update or start a program.

 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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