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

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm hoping the answer is yes.

Due to my ignorance, I denied the 'Everyone' group all read access from one of my folders containing needed information because I did not want people on my network being able to view my data. I didn't realize that I could not remove myself from the everyone group, and therefore I can no longer view the data/files in the folder.

I can view all other information on the c:\ drive and such, just not this folder. Is there anyway to remove the denied rights from the 'Everyone' group on this folder? My account is an administrator, however from the GUI it will not let me edit security information on the folder when I right-click it and go to the security tab.

Windows OS : Vista

share|improve this question
Which permissions specifically did you deny? Only the read data / read attributes / read extended attributes? or did you just click deny full control? – Darth Android Jul 20 '11 at 16:48
The only permissions that were allowed for 'Everyone' on my folder were 'Read & Execute', 'List folder Contents', and 'Read'. I denied those three. – contactmatt Jul 20 '11 at 16:53
Then you should be able to skip the takeown step of my answer. – Darth Android Jul 20 '11 at 16:55
Yeah, don't mess with the permissions unless you know what you are doing. At the very least, you should read the Technet article on "ACL permissions" and "How permissions work". Just because "Everyone" has ACL permissions doesn't mean anyone on the network can access your information. Specifically, they would have to get by Windows Authentication (Kerberos in your case). – surfasb Jul 20 '11 at 17:33
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You will need to take ownership of the folder.

Launch a command prompt as administrator, and then run:
takeown /F C:\Path\to\the\folder

This should take ownership of the folder, and allow you to read and change permissions on it. From here, right-click on it in windows explorer, select Properties, select the Security tab, click Advanced, click Change Permissions, and then select the Deny permission and click Remove. Click OK until the windows are closed.

share|improve this answer
Seriously, thank you so much. I saw my life flash before my eyes when I couldn't get to my files, lol – contactmatt Jul 20 '11 at 17:06
@user19185 If that happened, then I think it's time to invest in a proper backup solution ;) – Darth Android Jul 21 '11 at 14:02

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.