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

My local admin rights to my Windows 7 work computer have recently been removed, and I can no longer double-click on any of my drives or folders. However, I can tell via command prompt that my standard user group memberships appear to be set up correctly, and I can access my drives and folders using right-click/"Open".

My symptoms are similar to this thread.

Whenever I double-click on any folder, access any folder through the Start menu, or try to access my Computer "Properties" I get this error:

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

I also have other sporadic glitches that appear related to either my User Profile or to my ability to navigate to local paths. (Files saved to my Desktop sometimes don't appear until restart. Visual Studio and SQL Server can't find settings files. "File"/"Print" sometimes doesn't work...)

As far as I know, the only change to my profile is that I am no longer in our domain "Administrators" group, and am now only in our "Domain Users" group. I have verified that my username is in our "Domain Users" group, that our "Domain Users" group is in my local "Users" group, and that my local "Users" group has "Read", "List folder contents", and "Read & execute" permissions to my C: drive and other local folders.

  • Why can't I double-click on my folders if I have these permissions?

  • Any tips on diagnosing the issue so that I can give good comments to our Help Desk?

Thank you for your help!

Update: My user profile was deleted rebuilt and all of my errors are now resolved. My configuration is otherwise the same, so it appears that a corrupt profile was likely the issue. Thanks everyone for your comments!

share|improve this question
I presume your IT department made the change in rights - whether or not they did, talk to them about the results, (and if they didn't, talk to them about the change in rights, as they should be the ones doing that if anyone is, and if they didn't, they need to figure out who did and fix it.) – Ecnerwal Oct 8 '13 at 15:09
They did, and I agree, but our Service Request process is slow and any supplementary help I can get would be appreciated. Thanks! – Mac Oct 8 '13 at 15:15
@Mac - You won't be able to solve this without Administrator permissions and you don't even have normal User permissions – Ramhound Oct 8 '13 at 16:06
Thanks for your comment! I don't expect to fix it myself, but I hope to diagnose it or come up with candidate possibilities. – Mac Oct 8 '13 at 16:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are two types of permissions on fileshares. Security on the folder and then security on the share.

  • I'd be checking the permissions on the folder itself as well as on the share and seeing if you should even have access.
  • You could also create a new profile with the same access as your existing and test the same problematic folders. If that works, then corrupt profile maybe.
  • If none of the above works, your best bet is to get full admin read/modify/full access and then work back from there.

The fact that you can right-click and open is pretty strange. I'd almost be thinking there's some group policy in action here. Beyond that, it does sound like some corruption on your profile. Are you using roaming or local profiles?

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your considerations! - NTFS permissions appear to be correct. ("Users" have Read/Execute access, including "Domain Users" which includes me.) - Share permissions wouldn't apply because I'm trying to access local drives and folders (even though I'm logging in to a Domain.) - It's definitely possible that my profile is corrupt. We will likely try to delete and recreate that next. – Mac Oct 9 '13 at 21:16
We do not use roaming profiles. – Mac Oct 9 '13 at 21:23

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.