Folder Is Not Accessible Access Is Denied

Jean updated on Oct 13, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Have you encountered Folder is not accessible. Access is Denied or other errors when you access or work with files and folders in Windows 10/8/7? If so, calm down. This post will show you all the common ways to fix the folder or drive with access denied issues. Besides, you can use the first-rate file recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to restore data from an inaccessible hard drive or folder easily.

# 1. Quick fixes for "Folder is not accessible. Access is denied":

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Change Ownership Right-click inaccessible folder > "Properties" > "Security" > "Advanced"...Full steps
Fix 2. Check Permissions Right-click the folder > "Properties" > "Security" > "Group or user names"...Full steps
Fix 3. Remove Encryption Right-click the folder > "Properties" > "General" > "Advanced" > Uncheck "Encrypt contents to secure data"...Full steps

# 2. Fixes for "D:\ is not accessible. Access is denied." error:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Recover Data from Drive Run EaseUS data recovery software > Scan inaccessible drive > Recover data...Full steps
Fix 2. Change Ownership Right-click inaccessible drive > "Properties" > "Security" > "Advanced" > "Edit"...Full steps
Fix 3. Check Disk Error Run Command Prompt as administrator > Type chkdsk N: /f /r (Replace N with the drive letter of your disk)...Full steps

What Is Access Denied Error in Windows 10/8/7

It seems that a majority of Windows users have confronted the exact problem when trying to open a folder or a specified document, image, or video file. The error messages may differ from issue to issue, for example:

  • XXX folder is not accessible. Access is denied.
  • Location is not available. D:\ is not accessible. Access is denied.
  • Access denied.
  • You don't currently have permission to access this folder.

If you are getting such a problem, take it easy. Here we will show you some practical ways to solve two kinds of access denied troubles: file/folder access denied, and USB or external hard drive access denied.

Issue 1. File/Folder Is Not Accessible, Access Denied

"Lately, I frequently get an error while trying to open any folder in File Explorer, it says folder is not accessible, access is denied. I can not access, change, save, or delete files and folders with the error messages. How can I resolve these issues and access work with my files and folders? I'm so worried about losing my folder contents."

folder is not accessible

What Causes File/Folder Access Denied

  • Folder ownership has changed.
  • You do not have the appropriate permissions
  • The file/folder is encrypted.
  • The file/folder is corrupted.
  • The user profile is corrupted.

Solution 1. Take Ownership of the File or Folder

If you cannot open a file or folder after you install a new version of Windows, the reason may be the changes in account information. Therefore, you may no longer have ownership of some files or folders. You might be able to resolve this issue by restoring your ownership of the files and folders.

1. Right-click the folder that you want to take ownership of, then choose "Properties".

2. Click "Security" > "Advanced" > "Change". If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password.

3. Type the name of the user that you want to give ownership to, and then click "Check Names" and "OK".

4. If you want this person to be the owner of the files and subfolders that are contained in this folder, select the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" checkbox. Then, click "OK" to confirm.

folder is not accessible - 1

Solution 2. Check Permissions on a File or Folder

If you don't have the appropriate permissions, you may also experience the access denied issue. Follow the steps below to check permissions on a file or folder.

1. Right-click the file or folder, and then click "Properties" > "Security" tab.

2. Under "Group or user names", click your name to see the permissions that you have. To access a file or folder, you have to have the "Read" permission.

3. To change the permissions of a file or folder, you must be logged on as an administrator. Click "Edit" under Group or user names, click your name, select the checkboxes for the permissions that you must have, and then click "OK".

folder is not accessible - 2

Solution 3. Check Whether a File or Folder Is Encrypted

You cannot open an encrypted file or folder unless using the password or certificate. To determine whether a file or folder is encrypted, follow these steps.

1. Right-click the file or folder, and then click Properties > General tab > Advanced.

2. If the "Encrypt contents to secure data" checkbox is selected, you have to have the certificate that was used to encrypt the file or folder to be able to open it. You can uncheck "Encrypt contents to secure data" to decrypt the file system. To decrypt a file, read the related article.

folder is not accessible access is denied

Solution 4. Repair Corrupted Files or Folders

The files can become corrupted for several reasons, such as computer crashes, repeated delete recovery, or sudden power outage. Most corrupted files cannot be repaired. But for photos, you can try to repair corrupted JPEG files with a file recovery tool.

If a folder is damaged, you can still recover data from the specific folder by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, a top-ranking data recovery software on the market.

Issue 2. Hard Drive Is Not Accessible. Access Is Denied

In addition to the file/folder access denied problem, you might also meet USB flash drive or external hard drive access denied error in Windows 10/8/7 as the sample image shows. Here are common error messages.

  • Drive is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable.
  • Drive is not accessible. The parameter is incorrect.
  • Drive is not accessible. The disk structure is corrupted and unreadable.

access is denied

Whatever error message you see, as a result, you can't access the files and folders stored on the drive. Don't worry, try the following approaches to troubleshoot.

Solution 1. Recover Data from Inaccessible Drive

Before fixing the hard drive is not accessible error, you should first recover the data from the problematic hard drive to ensure data safety. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can search through a hard disk or partition for all lost, deleted, hidden, and inaccessible files with simple 3 clicks. It's ideal file recovery software, especially when you're not given the proper access to an unreadable or inaccessible data file on Windows.

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and scan lost folder.

Select a hard drive, external device and click "Scan" or choose the exact location where you lost folder under​ "Specify a location" and click "OK". Wait and let this program to scan and find your lost folder.

select a location and scan lost folder

Step 2. Find and preview the found folder with files.

Find the found folder in "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or you can use "Search" to quickly find your lost folder by searching the folder name. Double click found files to preview them.

Preview lost folder data.

Step 3. Restore and save the found folder.

Last, select the found folder with files, click "Recover" and browse to save this folder back to a secure location on your PC.

Recover lost folder data.

After exporting the data from the USB or external hard drive, you can continue to resolve the access denied matter.

Solution 2. Take Ownership of the USB or External Hard Drive

1. Right-click on the inaccessible hard drive, select "Properties".

2. Go to the "Security" tab, hit "Advanced", then click the "Edit" button. On the "Owner" tab, modify the ownership of the specified account.

folder is not accessible access is denied

Solution 3. Check and Repair Disk Error

The "Drive is not accessible. Access Denied" issue might suggest that file system corruption, disk errors, corruptions, or bad sectors. In this case, you can run CHKDSK to fix the problem.

1. Plugin your external hard drive, USB drive, or memory card to your PC.

2. Type CMD in the Search box. Right-click and choose "Run as administrator".

3. In the Command Prompt window, type chkdsk E: /f /r. (Here E is the drive letter of the disk which shows the "drive is not accessible" error.)

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error


In this article, we've discussed access denied error in two categories: one is folder is not accessible, and the other is a drive is not accessible. In both cases, we describe specific scenarios, reasons, and solutions. We hope these solutions are useful to you. Finally, again, whatever the problem, securing your data should be the first step. So, don't forget to use the data recovery software to take out the data before you fix the problem.

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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

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"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, so 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.

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