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How to Copy and Backup Files without Admin Rights

Updated by Daisy on Mar 05, 2021
Written by Tracy King

"You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error has occurred to many people in Windows 10/8/7. Most ordinary users may do not know what’s going on with their computer or devices when this error message pops on. 

Error: cannot copy files without admin right.

Effective methods are available here to help:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Copy Files Without Admin Rights in 3 steps You can copy or backup files and folders without administrator permission by using EaseUS Todo Backup...Full steps
Method 2. Fix Error and Copy Files Fix "Need administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error in three steps and copy files...Full steps

Windows 10 asks me for administrator permission when I tried to copy files, help!

"'You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file/folder' error message kept popping up when I tried to copy and backup files from my Windows 10 computer to an external hard drive. 

I thought that I might have connected the external hard drive to the computer in a wrong way that caused the file copying failure. So I reconnect the external hard drive to the computer via a new USB port and retry to copy files again, still get the same notice for asking admin rights. So how can I backup and copy files without admin rights? And is it possible to fix the Windows keeps asking admin rights issue on my own?"

Method 1. Copy Files Without Admin Rights

If you are urgent, and you want to copy or backup files and folders right now on your computer. But the system won’t allow you to do so, keeping asking you for administrator permission.

Install and use the best Windows backup and recovery software as a quick fix to copy and backup your files to the target storage device in only three steps:

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Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File" as the backup mode.

click the file mode to back up files

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up. You can quickly locate the desired files, folders or directories under the "User Defined" mode or "File Type" mode. 

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Next, click the Browse area to select a destination to save your backup file. EaseUS Todo Backup allows for a variety of backup locations that are available to you, including an internal and external storage drive, a cloud drive or a NAS drive. Among all the backup options, we recommend you the most secure and convenient to reach location - EaseUS Cloud.

choose easeus cloud to backup files

You can directly login the cloud drive with your account and password. If it's the first time you use the cloud drive, use your email to sign up.

log in easeus cloud to backup files

Step 4: Click "Proceed" to execute your operation.

Then all you need is to wait for the process to complete and then you’ll get all wanted files backed up and copied to target storage device.

Further Information: If you need to use the backed up files, you can use the Browse to Recover feature in EaseUS Todo Backup to recover the file image to a secure location and make use of them again.

Method 2. Fix "Need administrator permission to copy this file/folder" error and copy files

Mostly, when you are asked to provide the administrator permission or admin rights, you’ll need to take the ownership of the folder or file to access or open it with below tips:

Step 1. Take the Ownership of a File or Folder

1. Open "Windows Explorer" and locate the file/folder, right-click on it and select "Properties".

Take ownership of file or folder.

2. Go to Security and click "Advanced", go to "Owner" tab.

Fix 'You'll need to provide administrator permission to copy files or folder' error.

3. If you want to change the owner to a user or group that is not listed: Click "Change" > "Other user and groups", and type the name of the user or group in "Enter the object name to select", then click "Check Names" > "OK".

Change owner to take a ownership of target files or folders.

4. If you want to change a user or a group that is listed:

Click new owner in the "Change" to box and make changes.

Change a user.

5. If you want to change the owner of all sub containers and objects within the tree: Select "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" box.

Change subcontainers to fix 'you'll need administrator permission' issue.

Step 2. Turn off UAC or User Account Control

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search", type: control panel, and then click "Control Panel".

Fix 'cannot copy files' error.

2. Select "Large icons" that are on the right panel under "View".
3. Locate and click on "User Account", click "Change User Accounts Control Settings".

Use Control Panel to fix 'cannot copy files' error.

4. Change to "Never notify" and click "OK".

Fix 'cannot copy files without admin right' error.

5. Once you complete the process, change the slider to "Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer", click "OK" to keep all changes.

Turn off UAC or User Account Control to fix 'can't copy files without admin right' error.

Step 3. Enable the Built-in Administrator Account

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Search", type: command prompt and right-click on it, select "Run as administrator".

Run Command Prompt to fix 'cannot copy files' error.

2. Click "Yes" to allow Command Prompt run on your PC.

Allow Command Prompt to run and fix 'can't copy files' error.

3. Type: net user administrator /active:yes in command prompt and hit Enter.

Fix 'Cannot copy files without admin right' error by using cmd.

After this, you can continue to try copy files without admin permission or admin rights without any problems by then.

Final Word

If you are an urgent user who wants to copy files to other storage devices but Windows doesn't allow you to do so without admin right, relax.

You can follow both Method 1 and Method 2 to quickly and thoroughly resolve this error with ease now.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

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