[Fixed] The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System in Windows 10/8/7

Abby Haines updated on Jul 10, 2019 to Resource | How-to Articles

Summary

Error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system, may occur when you try to access, copy, delete, or edit files on your Windows computer. To solve this annoying problem, we provide different solutions for the situations you may encounter. If you need to perform data recovery, download and apply EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to rescue your files immediately.

About Error 0x80070780: The File Cannot Be Accessed by the System

Sometimes, when you trying to access some files or folders on the computer, external hard drive or other USB devices, "The file cannot be accessed by the system" message with error 0X80070780 might pop up and prevent you from doing that. The issue can happen in Windows 10/8/7 due to various reasons, including system files corruption or missing, hard disk errors or bad sectors, the file or directory is corrupted and unreadable, or unknown virus or malware infection.

Generally, there are four common situations in which users may encounter error 0x80070780. Choose the specific situation of yours and apply the corresponding solutions to fix "the file cannot be accessed by the system".

You come across the error when you:
Access Files on an External Hard Drive
Copy Files to an External Storage Device
Back Up System to an External Hard Drive
Perform System Restore

Fixes for Error 0x80070780 "The file cannot be accessed by the system"

Different situations indicate different causes. While different causes imply different solutions. Follow to help yourself out of the frustrating error 0x80070780 with ease.

Situation 1. Encounter Error 0x80070780 While Accessing Files

When you attempt to open your computer hard drive or external storage device and access its files, you may receive the notification telling you the file cannot be accessed by the system. In such a case, you are four options to choose from.

Method 1. Perform Data Recovery

If data recovery takes priority, you can first recover data with hard drive data recovery - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to retrieve your data from your computer or external storage devices. EaseUS data recovery software will help you recover lost data for certain or recover damaged/corrupted files in some cases. It's worth trying to rescue your files using this reliable software.

The overall steps to recover lost data:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. And then, select a location, which can be on a hard disk drive, an external USB flash drive/micro SD card or a specific folder on Desktop or somewhere else. Click on the Scan button.

select a location

Step 2. You'll see more and more data is showing up during the scan. You can check the "Deleted files" quick result during the scan if it's for deleted file recovery. 

scan lost data

Step 3. Click "Filter" to quickly filter photos, documents, videos and other specific types of files. And lastly, select the wanted data and click on the Recover button.

select data and click recover

If the software fails to recover the files you want to retrieve, it's probably the items are seriously corrupted or damaged. If so, learn how to recover corrupted files instead.

Method 2. Reinstall Device Driver

Device driver issues may result in the device not showing up problems on a computer, like USB not showing up in Windows 10, which can also make the files inaccessible. A good way to exclude driver issues is to reinstall device driver:

Step 1. Connect your USB drive to your computer if that's where the problem occurs, right-click "This PC", and choose "Properties" > "Devices Manager".

Step 2. Click on "Disk drives", right-click on your USB drive that is not showing and choose "Uninstall device".

Step 3. In the prompt asking you to confirm the removal, click "OK".

Step 4. When the uninstalling process has done, restart your computer and reconnect the USB drive to the PC. After the computer restarts, the driver will be automatically installed.

Fix error 0X80070780 - reinstall driver

Method 3. Perform Disk Cleanup

Step 1. Open "This PC", right-click your hard drive, then choose "Properties".

Step 2. Under the "General" tab, click "Disk Cleanup".

Step 3. Choose the files you want to delete and click "OK".

Fix error 0X80070780 -  Run Disk Cleanup

Method 4. Format the Drive

Formatting a drive can help solve file system errors and may help fix some disk errors that may result in error 0x80070780: The file cannot be accessed by the system. Since formatting will erase all the files existing on the drive, you are recommended to back up your precious files with free backup software in advance. Then format the hard drive without worrying about data loss.

Step 1. Open "This PC", right-click your hard drive, and choose "Format" in the menu.

Step 2. Assign a Windows-compatible file system to your USB and click "Start".

Step 3. In the warning window, click "OK" to confirm the operation.

Fix 0X80070780 - Format the drive

These are the workable tips for you to fix the error 0X80070780 "the file cannot be accessed by the system" when you try to access files on your computer or external storage device.

Situation 2. Encounter Error 0x80070780 While Copying Files

If you are told the file cannot be accessed by the system when you try to copy files from one location to another to make a backup. You can also try EaseUS data recovery software to retrieve your data first. In addition, there are other two ways to achieve your goal of copying/backing up files.

Method 1. Use Robocopy to Copy Files

Step 1. Click the "Start" menu and type cmd.

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

Step 3. In Command Prompt, enter the command:

Click to copy

The former path is where you store your source file, the latter path is the location of the files you want to copy to. Replace them based on your real needs.

Method 2. Back Files with Third-Party Software

Another alternative way to make a backup of your computer files is using third-party backup utility, like EaseUS Todo Backup. The software will help you back up your disk, partition, system, emails, and more from computer to another storage device, cloud storage, NAS device, and more.

Situation 3. Encounter Error 0x80070780 While Backing Up System

Many users have reported that they met the error 0x80070780 "the file cannot be accessed by the system" when they try to back up their system to an external hard drive. There are two solutions for this situation:

Method 1. Repair Missing or Corrupted System Files Using SFC.exe

One of the factors that might be responsible for "The file cannot be accessed by the system" with error 0X80070780 is system file corruption. So, running the System File Checker tool to scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restore corrupted files may help. If it is the problem, you will be able to access your data and no longer get the error message after repairing the system file.

Step 1. Click "Start", go to "All Programs" > "Accessories", right-click "Command Prompt", and then click "Run as administrator".

Step 2. At the command prompt, type the command sfc /scannow and then press "Enter" to continue.

Step 3. The sfc /scannow command will automatically scan all protected system files and replace the incorrect versions with correct Microsoft versions. Just wait patiently to let the process complete.

Method 2. Disable Security Software As Admin

It's risky to disable security software on a computer. Thus, we suggest you temporarily turn it off and then re-enable it after you finish the backup.

Step 1. Go to "Start" > "Settings", then search for and open "Windows Defender settings".

Step 2. Open "Windows Defender settings" and click "Open Windows Defender Security Center".

Step 3. Click "Virus & threat protection". In the new window, choose "Virus & threat protection settings".

Step 4. Click to switch off "Real-time protection", "Cloud-delivered protection", and "Automatic sample submission".

Fix error 0X80070780 - Disable Security Software

By the way, the free backup software mentioned above can also help to migrate OS to a new drive, which is time-saving and helpful.

Situation 4. Encounter Error 0x80070780 While Performing System Restore

If you receive the error while performing a system restore, you can also temporarily disable the security software to have a try. Besides, performing a clean boot is also useful.

Method 1. Clean Boot Windows

Warning
If there is any misoperation during the process, your computer may be unusable. Thus, be careful following the steps below.

Step 1. Make sure you sign in as an administrator.

Step 2. Click "Start" and type msconfig.

Step 3. Click to run "System Configuration".

Step 4. Go to the "Services" tab, click the checkbox "Hide all Microsoft services" and then click "Disable all".

Step 5. Switch to the "Startup" tab, click "Open Task Manager".

Step 6. In Task Manager, go to the "Startup" tab, then select and disable all the startup items. Afterward, close Task Manager.

Step 7. Go back to the "Startup" tab in System Configuration, click "OK".

Step 8. Restart your computer.

Then your computer will start in a clean boot environment in which no third-party software will block your access to the files on your computer.

The Botton Line

Other than the solutions detailed above, there are other ways that have the chance to fix the error 0X80070780: the file cannot be accessed by the system, like repairing bad sectors on hard drives and performing a startup repair in Windows. But I hope one of the solutions above have solved the problem perfectly for you and you don't need to try the extra two tips that are much more complex.

 
 

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Frequently Asked Qusetions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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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