I have a file that's created by a program, and apparently an interaction with the system and Google Backup & Sync somehow scrambles the owner and permissions of the file. (The owner shows up as either "Unknown" or "Unable to display current owner", depending on where I look at it.)

I need to reclaim ownership of the file.

The standard method (from the File Explorer right click, Properties, Security tab, Advanced, Change Owner) doesn't work because I don't have permission to do that. Basically I need super user access on my own system so I can override what the OS thinks and actually administrate the file.

Anyone got a clue? Rebooting seems to clear the issue but that's a crappy solution. I have a Cygwin shell on this system if that helps. I'd prefer to not have to download any special utilities unless the source is very trustworthy.

Edit The problem re-occured. So far I'm not able to set the owner of the offending files:

C:\Users\Brenden>icacls "C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive\proj\tempj8\build   \classes\quicktest\AbstractTest.class" /SETOWNER "%username%" /c
C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive\proj\tempj8\build\classes\quicktest\AbstractTest.class: Access is denied.
Successfully processed 0 files; Failed processing 1 files


This command fails too:

C:\WINDOWS\system32>takeown /F "C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive\proj\tempj8\build\classes\quicktest\AbstractTest.class"
ERROR: Access is denied.

  • markspace - Try these two commands and tell me if this helps solve: icacls "C:\folder\path\file.txt" /SETOWNER "%username%" /C and then takeown /F "C:\folder\path\file.txt".... If this helps, tag me back as @PimpJuiceIT and I'll add this information along with some additional detail plus some reference sources for further learning. – Pimp Juice IT Jul 11 '18 at 2:30
  • The first command you gave me didn't work: see my edit but it says "Access is denied." Any other ideas? @PimpJuiceIT – markspace Oct 9 '18 at 23:59
  • @PimpJuiceIT Just tried takeown by itself in a command prompt and it fails also. – markspace Oct 10 '18 at 0:57
  • Read over this post and look over some of the commands if states to run with options and such. I think perhaps running takeown /f "C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive\*.*" /r /a /d y and then ICACLS "C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive\*.*" /reset /T /C /L /Q may help but look over all the thread and what people say does work for some. It's likely a security setting at a higher level up parent folder wise that needs to be reset or whatever but not sure if you could disable inheritance from `"C:\Users\Brenden\Google Drive` and then set the security but another thought I had. – Pimp Juice IT Oct 10 '18 at 2:14
  • Oh.... here's the post too by the way: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/… – Pimp Juice IT Oct 10 '18 at 2:15


Taking ownership of a file or folder from command line

Open an elevated Command Prompt window.

To do so:

a. Go to > Start > All Programs > Accessories

b. Right-click on Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.

c. Type the following command and press Enter key:

takeown /f [path to folder] /r /d y

d. Then assign the Administrators group Full Control Permissions for the folder, use this command and hit Enter key:

icacls [path to folder] /grant administrators:F /T 

The /T parameter is added so that the operation is carried out through all the sub-directories and files within that folder.

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  • This also says "access denied" even though I ran it as administrator and got the little "Are you sure you want let this app make changes to your device?" pop up. – markspace Oct 10 '18 at 0:11
  • The grant administrators full rights didn't work for me, but the reset argument works: icacls found.000 /reset /t. – Endy Tjahjono Jun 7 at 2:58

I've had an issue with file ownership before.

Follow this tutorial. It worked like a charm for me.

  • Open File Explorer, and then locate the file or folder you want to take ownership of.

  • Right-click the file or folder, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

  • Click the Advanced button. The "Advanced Security Settings" window will appear. Here you need to change the Owner of the key. Click the Change link next to the "Owner:" label

  • The Select User or Group window will appear. Select  the user account via the Advanced button or just type your user account in the area which says 'Enter the object name to select' and click OK.

  • Optionally, to change the owner of all subfolders and files inside the folder, select the check box "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" in the "Advanced Security Settings" window. Click OK to change the ownership.

  • Now you need to provide full access to the file or folder for your account. Right-click the file or folder again, click Properties, and then click the Security tab.

  • Click the Add button. The "Permission Entry" window will appear on the screen:

  • Click "Select a principal" and select your account:

  • Set permissions to "Full control":

  • Click OK.

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  • Chris, to make this a self-contained answer, please summarize or quote at least the essentials from that tutorial (and keep the link to that useful article). – DrMoishe Pippik Jul 10 '18 at 22:16
  • I'm on mobile right now, so I'll have to do several edits to meet the guideline. I'll remember that from now on. – Chris Jul 10 '18 at 22:19
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    I specifically mentioned this in my OP. It doesn't work. At the point where I click Change next to the Owner, it says I'm not allowed to do that. So no doesn't work. – markspace Jul 10 '18 at 22:23
  • @markspace I'm blind. I'll do some more research when I get back to my computer and I'll update you if I can figure another method, if it's still unsolved. Sorry about that – Chris Jul 10 '18 at 22:31

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