I am unable to delete, rename and even force delete (using /F in cmd.exe) a bunch of files. These were created during some updates etc and in a different drive than C root drive. Using Windows XP SP3. Any help, suggestions?

CMD.EXE gives error access is denied while deleting

  • Are you logged on as a user with local administrator rights? – Kez Jul 5 '10 at 17:24
  • Yes I am logged in as Admin user (The only account on machine). – Jasmine Appelblad Jul 5 '10 at 17:26
  • @kez, do you know how can I get full ownership of file? this might help – Jasmine Appelblad Jul 5 '10 at 17:30
  • as harrymc mentioned, support.microsoft.com/kb/308421 will talk you through how to do it. It's not as scary as it looks. – Kez Jul 7 '10 at 12:30

The files might have strange permissions, and you might not be their owner.

See: How to take ownership of a file or a folder in Windows XP.

  • It worked. It was all about ownership of file as "Full COntrol" – Jasmine Appelblad Jul 11 '10 at 11:56
  • Could you expand your answer to include the relevant steps a user would go through to achieve this? This really should have been a comment. – Burgi May 1 '16 at 15:15
  • @Burgi: A "comment" that solved the poster's problem ... – harrymc May 2 '16 at 19:28

This really worked:

  1. Start in Safe Mode
  2. Log in as Administrator
  3. In My Computer, rename (may not be necessary)
  4. Right click on the file and choose Properties.
  5. Select the Security tab.
  6. Tick "Full control" which automatically ticks all the other boxes as well.
  7. Click "Apply" and then "OK"
  8. On the file, right click and "delete".

I had hundreds of sub-folders with these EULA files. They were all Microsoft warnings about the use of some Microsoft product I had downloaded, in about fifty different languages. Don't you just hate the sheer arrogance of Microsoft stopping you controlling your own computer?

This worked for me. After rebooting several times they have not reappeared. I now need to check what other crud was installed by Microsoft without my consent, and take back control.


You might check out a freeware solution: Unlocker


They are probably system level files that Windows is protecting. Windows (as far as I know) doesn't have a sudo "I want this done and done now" mode at all.

  • The files are eula.rtf, The package was downloaded during an update process. – Jasmine Appelblad Jul 5 '10 at 17:20
  • 1
    @Zai: And if the system created them it might still be protecting them. – Josh K Jul 5 '10 at 17:23

Reboot in Safe Mode and then try to delete them as an administrator.

You should also be able to boot off a 3rd party OS disk (like a Linux Live CD, or a Windows PE disk) and go remove them, that way your copy of Windows CAN'T stop you. :)



First boot in safe mode then right click file for properties, then the security tab click the owner tab nd change the owner to administrator only then can you change the permissions.

  • Very similar answers have been already been mentioned, what new things are you suggesting? – Burgi May 1 '16 at 15:08

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