How to Fix WD My Passport Access Denied in Windows

Jean updated on Oct 12, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles

This page outlines a complete guide for you to fix WD My Passport access denied error and answers the most frequently asked questions on why unable to set new owner on My Passport, or how you take ownership of folders on an external hard drive, etc. You can start a data risk-free troubleshooting on access denied My Passport hard drive by using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

WD My Passport access denied

"It seems that I can no longer access my files on WD My Passport external hard drive. I get the error message of access denied. The detailed information is in the screenshot. How to rectify the problem and get into the drive without losing data?"

wd my passport access denied error

If you can't access WD My Passport external hard drive due to access denied error, there's a huge possibility that you don't have permission to operate on the drive. It happens a lot in the situation when you connect the external HDD to a new desktop or laptop that requires permission to access data or files somewhere on it.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Remove access denied Right-click on the WD drive and choose Properties > Security > Advanced...Full steps
Fix 2. Get rid of not being able to grant permission (FAQs) 1. Why add "Authenticated User" failed
2. How to remove access denied on Ultra 1TB HDD
3. Recover data from access denied WD drive...Full steps

How to fix WD My Passport access denied Windows 10

When such an access denied error occurs, you're confronting a serious fact that you can no longer open the drive and view data there. So, it's urgent to find a way to remove the error for normal use.

To obtain permission in order to remove access denied on My Passport, follow the guide carefully:

Step 1. Connect WD drive to your PC, right-click on the WD My Passport external hard drive and select "Properties".

Step 2. Click the "Security" tab.

Step 3. At the bottom of the tab, next to 'For special permissions or advanced settings, click Advanced', you need to click the "Advanced" button.

change permissions to fix wd my passport access denied

Step 4. Click the "Change permissions" button.

change permissions to fix wd my passport access denied

Step 5. Click a permission entry so as to add, remove or edit the permission. Add a new user named "Authenticated User" and click "OK". Give "Full Control" to the newly added user from the permission section.

FAQs - How do I get rid of not being able to grant permission

I hope that the given solution has solved the access denied problem as expected. Just in case some of you are stuck in new issues arising from the access denied error, we collected the most frequently asked ones as examples. You can also find answers accordingly.

1. Add "Authenticated User" didn't remove access denied error, why?

You need to make sure that you don't encrypt the hard drive with a password. Otherwise, simply use the password so you can easily obtain access to the encrypted hard drive. If it's not the matter of hard drive encryption, you can try the other two workarounds to solve the 

  • Back to Step 5. This time add a user named "Everyone" with full control in the Security tab of the Properties window.
  • Otherwise, try to clear the read only flag. You need to fix a read-only hard drive.

2. How do I fix folder access denied error on WD My Passport Ultra 1 TB external HDD?

Instead of the hard drive itself, sometimes you received the error message "You need permission to perform this action" while trying to open a folder on it. As suggested, you need to take ownership of folders like this:

  • Right-click on the folder and then click "Properties".
  • Switch to the "Security" tab and then "Advanced".
  • Click "Change" in the Owner section. 
  • Click your user name in the Name list and click "OK".
  • Save all changes to apply permission and security changes.
take ownership of access denied folder on wd my passport

3. How to recover data from WD My Passport access denied

The reasons behind the "location not available, access denied" are not limited to the lack of permission, it also indicates that there is some problem with the hard drive that makes the hard drive inaccessible.

Disk formatting the commonly suggested way to repair corrupted file system issues and most of the time it works. But performing disk formatting will result in a total data loss, you shall consider data recovery before the formatting manner. You can feel no hesitate to recover data from inaccessible WD hard drive with the best Western Digital disk recovery software.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, the specialized hard drive recovery software can help WD users access files and folders when My Passport encountered access denied error. Let it help safeguard data whenever WD hard drive detected but won't open.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your computer. Select the hard drive which becomes inaccessible on your PC. Click "Scan" to let this program scan and find your hard drive data.

select a location and click scan

Step 2. After the scan, you can preview and check found files on the scanning result window. Click "Filter" to quickly find a specific type of file. You can preview the file by double-clicking it.

select wanted files

Step 3. Finally, select the items you want to get back and click "Recover". Choose a secure location (second hard drive partition on your PC or another external storage device). And then click "OK" to start recovering all lost data from your inaccessible hard drive.

recover data from inaccessible drive

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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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