How can I directly access files in the System Volume Information folder while booted into Windows?

I have tried to change the file permissions by right clicking on the folder and selecting properties, then the Security tab, but no matter what I try it will not allow changing the owner or adding a user with read permissions. I always get Access Denied error message.

Is there a command line command that will do it, or other method while booted into Windows?


From the command prompt:

(hit enter key after each command)

ICACLS "C:\system volume information" /grant YourLoginID:F

this gives permissions to the folder

(yourLoginID= the account name you wish to grant permissions to)

ICACLS "C:\system volume information" /grant YourLoginID:F /T

this gives permissions to the folder contents.

Now you can view files in the System Volume Information folder.

To undo this:

ICACLS "C:\system volume information" /remove YourLoginID /T

Removes access to everything in the folder.


ICACLS "C:\System Volume Information" /remove yourLoginID

Removes access to the specified folder itself.


Note: On my system when I ran the second command it failed to set permissions on one restore point file {xxxxxx}, maybe it is in use by the system and cannot be changed, not sure. I can see it in the SVI folder though, strange.

Also, using the Remove commands listed did not revert the changes, I can still view the files. I should have set a restore point before trying this, eek!

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  • Thanks so much Moab recovered 10GB back after using an Acronis True Image 2018 trial. As additional info for me running Windows 10 I had to run the delete command after the first two as: DEL /f "C:\System Volume Information\FileProtector\................." (Windows Explorer just ignored delete requests when navigated to) – Dean Sep 20 '17 at 8:12

You may find that running the icacls command you receive an error saying access is denied.

You could try running a TAKEOWN command

/F specifies the (local) folder for which you want to change ownership. /R is for Recursive (includes subfolders...) /A is to give Ownership to the Local Administrators group (otherwise it would give Ownership to the currently logged on user).

Once Ownership has been changed, you (as a member of the Local Administrators Group) now have access to these files.

Depending on the size of the directory, this can take a good long while to run.

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