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How to Copy and Backup Files without Admin Rights?

Updated on Sep 25, 2018 by Tracy King to Todo Backup Resource

Summary:
Are you having troubles to copy files when computer warns you that 'you’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy this file'in your PC? Relax. This tutorial article will show you to simply backup and copy files without admin rights and fix the 'Windows keeps asking administrator permission' issue with simple clicks.

"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.

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?"


- Quick Fix
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 target storage device in only three steps:

Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File Backup".

You may have a large amount of vital data to be protected as time goes on, such as documents, pictures, music, and videos, etc. It is always a good habit to have a backup on regular basis. File Backup is one of the best choices for you to get over unexpected data loss.

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up.

If you just want to back up one or some specific file types from one folder, the option at top right corner can help you exclude the others files.

Step 3: Select a destination to save your backup file. 

You'd better create the backup file in some other storage media or in some other drive. If not, there may be a risk of the backup file getting corrupted or destroyed.

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

click file backup to back up files

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.


- Manual Fix 
Method 2. Fix 'You’ll need to provide 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 and click Edit.

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 subcontainers 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 another 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.