Documents and Settings Folder - Access Denied

Case 1. "Trying to move some picture files to a new laptop and I am being denied access to numerous folders including Documents and Settings, My Pictures, My Music, etc."

Case 2. "Currently, I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate on my desktop that I built. My computer boots up fine, no problems when I log in. However, the Documents and Settings folder is not accessible to me. Please help me!"

Check Workable Solutions

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Solution 1. Gain File Read Permissions Choose "Properties" of the file > Click the "Security" tab > See the permissions under Group...Full steps
Solution 2. Cancel Encryption Protection Choose "Properties" of the file > Click "General" > "Advanced" > Use the certificate to decrypt the file or the folder ...Full steps

How to Fix "Access Denied" Documents and Settings Folder in Windows 10/8/7

When you try to access or work with Documents and Settings folder in Windows 10, you experience one or more of the following issues:

Issue 1: You receive an "Access Denied" error message or a similar message.

documents and settings folder access denied

Issue 2: You cannot access, change, save, or delete Documents and Settings folder.

Issue 3: You cannot open the file or folder after you install a new version of Windows.

To solve these issues, we have these solutions. Before you take any action, restore data from the inaccessible Documents and Settings folder first. 

Powerful data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, will help you to restore deleted, lost or formatted data with a few simple clicks. You can directly download and apply this software to retrieve data from an inaccessible hard drive, USB or other devices with the steps below:

 Download for Win Recovery Rate 99.7%
 Download for Mac Trustpilot Rating 4.6

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. Choose "Select Folder" under Specify a location. Browse for the location where you lost the folder and click "OK" to scan. 

select folder to scan

Step 2. You can search for the target folder or use the Filter feature to find a certain type of files in the folder. 

choose files to recover

Step 3. You can preview the recovered folder. Then, click "Recover" and choose a new & secure location on your PC to keep the recovered data. 

Restore lost folder data

Now you can follow the solutions for the issue below.

Solution 1. Gain file/folder read permissions

  • Right-click the file or folder, and then click "Properties".
  • Click the "Security" tab.
  • Under Group or user names, click your name to see the permissions that you have.
  • Click "Edit", click your name, select the check boxes for the permissions that you must have, and then click "OK".

gain the read permission of the documents folder

Solution 2. Cancel the encryption protection

  • Right-click the file or folder, and then click "Properties".
  • Click the General tab, then click "Advanced".
  • If the Encrypted contents to secure data check box is selected, you must use the certificate to decrypt the file or folder to be able to open it.

cancel the encryption protection

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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 Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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