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FIX: Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error

Dec 01, 2017 / Updated by Jean to Data Recovery

Summary

Receiving 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. May you not have the appropriate permission to access the item' error while trying to start a program or open a Word file? Refer to this page's 4 reasons and solutions to solve this error. Don't worry about not being able to access your very 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 when 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 sensible suggestions should you follow to make sure that you don't necessarily lose programs and files?

4 reasons and solutions for 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file' error

# 1 - You don't have permission to the file or file location

To gain permission to access a file or a location, do as follows.

1_ Right-click the file or folder and select Properties.
2_ Under Group or User names, click your name to see the permissions you have.
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.

# 2 - Antivirus software prevents files from opening

What antivirus software are you using? Check and see if it is blocking a file.

# 3 - File location\path isn't accessible or even doesn't exist

Right-click on the file or folder and select Properties. Under the General tab, check the Location, make sure that the file path is correct and accessible.

# 4 - File has been deleted, removed, transferred or hidden by virus

For the case that 'Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file' error was caused by unknown deletion, corruption, hidden by virus or the file location, such as HDD, USB flash drive, pen drive or memory card was damaged, access denied or infected by virus, feel free to download EaseUS data recovery software to bring lost data back.

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.

Steps to recover files which Windows cannot access normally

1_ Select the location where files or folders were lost and click Scan.
2_ Run quick scan and deep scan to find all lost files.
3_ Select files you want to recover and click Recover button.

recover files which Windows cannot access

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.