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How to Copy and Backup Files without Admin Rights

Updated by Gemma on Nov 29, 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. Click the "Select backup contents" button to start backup.

create file backup step1

Step 2. There are four data backup categories, File, Disk, OS, and Mail, click File.

create file backup step2

Step 3. Both local and network files will be listed on the left. You can expand the directory to select the files to be backed up.

File backup

Step 4. Follow the on-screen guide, select the destination where you want to save the backup.

File backup step4

Click "Options" to encrypt the backup with password in "Backup Options", set the backup schedule and choose to start back up at certain event in "Backup Scheme". There are also many other options you can explore, customize the backup task according to your need.

Backup options

Step 5. You can store the backup to local drive, EaseUS's cloud service, and NAS.

file backup step4

Step 6. EaseUS Todo Backup enables users to back up data to both third-party cloud drive and its own cloud drive.

If you want to back up data to third-party cloud drive, choose Local Drive, scroll down to add Cloud Device, add and login your account.

Backup to cloud
You can also choose EaseUS's own cloud drive. Click EaseUS Cloud, sign up with your EaseUS Account and log in.

backup to easeus cloud

Step 7. Click "Backup Now" to start backup. After the backup task is completed, it will be displayed in the form of a card on the left side of the panel. Right-click the backup task to further manage it.

File backup step7

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.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Gemma

Gemma is member of EaseUS team and has been committed to creating valuable content in fields about file recovery, partition management, and data backup etc for many years. She loves to help users solve various types of computer related issues.

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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