Slideshow: Take ownership of files and folders in Windows

Right-click the file or folder and open Properties

By default, the creator of a file of folder in Microsoft Windows 7 is the owner of that file or folder. As owner, that user can allow or deny access to non-administrator users. However, there are times when an administrator, or a user with administrator privileges and/or Take Ownership permission, will want to take ownership of a file or folder.

Taking ownership

If you are an administrator, or otherwise have the proper privileges, you can change ownership with these steps:

1. Right-click on the file or folder to get the context menu and then click the Properties menu item.

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By Mark Kaelin

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,, and TechRepublic.