Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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?

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 52 down vote accepted

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

takeown /f "c:\folder\subfolder" /r
share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer
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
This will fix problems even if there is a deny permission set – bradvido Sep 9 at 14:22

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
share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.