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How do I... Regain access to a file Windows Vista has mistakenly denied?


This blog entry is also available as TechRepublic download.

Information technology in general and computer operating systems in particular can often be frustrating. In many cases, the most annoyingly frustrating thing is that you are never given a reason why something does not work — all you know is that it doesn't. Microsoft Windows Vista is not immune to these annoying glitches. For reasons too many and too varied to name, Windows Vista may deny you access to certain files and folders. However, with a few clicks of the mouse you can reinstate your permissions to that file or folder. This TechRepublic How do I... shows you how it is done.

Frustration sets in

Here is an example of the frustration. I have permission to access the My Music folder, but I do not have permission to access the shortcut to the Music folder highlighted in Figure A.

Figure A

I want access to that shortcut
To re-establish access to the shortcut, or by extension any folder or file, you right-click the file or folder in question (My Music in this case) and click the Properties link in the menu. You will need to have administrator access for this to work. From that dialog box, click the Security tab. (Figure B)

Figure B

Security tab of Properties
Now, you might think you can click the Edit button from here to get what you need, but you'd be incorrect. You first must click the Advanced tab to get to the proper administrative level where you can change permissions. As Figure C reveals, for some reason, looking under the Effective Permission tab, this shortcut has no permissions assigned to it.

Figure C

Where are my permissions?

Relieving frustration

Click on the Permissions tab of the Advanced Security Settings screen (Figure D) and then click the name Everyone in the Permission entries section of the screen.

Figure D

Permissions tab — now we are getting somewhere
Now you get to the Permissions screen for the My Music shortcut. (Figure E) From here, when you click the Edit button, you get the actual permissions objects you can modify. (Figure F) Note that the only object checked is in the Deny column.

Figure E

Permissions tab screen

Figure F

Permission objects
Change the permission settings to your preference (Figure G) and then click OK four times to close all of the windows. Now, when I click the My Music shortcut, I have permission and it opens up the file folder as it was supposed to all along. This technique should work on any file or filter assuming you are running in administrator mode.

Figure G

Full control

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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