recursively change owner windows 7

Somehow i accidentally set all the files in a subfolder to no owner and i cant seem to change all the permission. I can change one by hand by changing the owner then setting permissions but how can i change owner of all the files in this directory at once?

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4 Answers

Use takeown from the command prompt to take ownership a folder, all its subfolders and files recursively:

takeown /f "c:\folder\subfolder" /r

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Note that cacls is deprecated (since Windows Vista?) and it advises you to use icacls.

This command will recursively reset the permissions on a folder:

icacls "C:\path\to\folder" /reset /T

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To fix really broken permissions, the best is to run these two commands one after the other:

takeown /f "C:\path\to\folder" /r
icacls "C:\path\to\folder" /reset /T


The first one will give you ownership of all the files, however that might not be enough, for example if all the files have the read/write/exec permissions set to "deny". You own the files but still cannot do anything with them.

In that case, run the second command, which will fix the broken permissions.

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Excellent technical advice ... your solution was the only one that worked. Thanks again. –  Anthony Aug 24 '14 at 21:11
Best advice, need to use both takeown and icacls. –  gnac Dec 2 '14 at 23:41

You can use cacls from the command prompt:

cacls "C:\path\to\folder" /E /T /C /G "Administrator":F

The /T switch allows it to function recursively. Replace Administrator with the user you wish to give permissions to.

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