How to Delete Access Denied Folder on Windows 10

In today’s digital age, we often come across situations where we need to delete a folder on our Windows 10 computer, but unfortunately, we encounter an "Access Denied" error message. This error can be frustrating and confusing, especially when you have full administrative rights on your computer. However, fear not! In this blog post, we will explore various methods to overcome this issue and successfully delete an access denied folder on Windows 10.

Video Tutorial:

Why You Need to Delete Access Denied Folders on Windows 10

There are several reasons why you may need to delete an access denied folder on your Windows 10 computer. One common scenario is when you encounter a folder that cannot be deleted due to permission restrictions. This could happen when you are trying to clean up your hard drive, remove unnecessary files, or uninstall a program that left behind some residual folders. Whatever the case may be, it is important to have the ability to delete any folder on your computer when the need arises. That’s why it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with methods to tackle the "Access Denied" error and regain control over your files.

Method 1: Changing Folder Permissions

Sometimes, the reason for the "Access Denied" error is because you do not have permission to delete the folder. In such cases, you can manually change the folder permissions to gain the necessary access. Here’s how:

1. Right-click on the folder you want to delete and select "Properties."
2. In the Properties window, click on the "Security" tab.
3. Click on the "Advanced" button located at the bottom of the window.
4. In the Advanced Security Settings window, click on the "Change" link next to the Owner field.
5. In the Select User or Group window, enter your username (or the name of the account you are currently using) and click on "Check Names."
6. If the name is recognized, click on "OK" to save the changes. If not, click on "Advanced" and then "Find Now" to see a list of available usernames.
7. Back in the Advanced Security Settings window, check the box next to "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" and click on "OK."
8. On the Permissions window, click on "Add" to add your username or the account you are using.
9. In the "Enter the object names to select" field, type your username and click on "Check Names."
10. Once the name is recognized, click on "OK" to add it to the list of users and groups.
11. Check the box next to "Full control" under the Allow column.
12. Click on "Apply" and then "OK" to save the changes.
13. Now, try deleting the folder again. You should no longer encounter the "Access Denied" error.

– Allows you to regain ownership of the folder.
– Provides full control and permissions to delete the folder.
– Works for individual folders and their subfolders.

– Requires administrative rights on the computer.
– May not work if the folder is locked by another process.

Method 2: Using Command Prompt

Another effective method to delete an access denied folder on Windows 10 is by using the Command Prompt. The Command Prompt allows you to execute commands directly, giving you greater control over your system. Follow these steps to delete an access denied folder using Command Prompt:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
2. Type "cmd" and press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
3. Navigate to the location of the folder you want to delete by using the "cd" command.
4. Once you are in the correct directory, type "rmdir /s /q foldername" and press Enter. Replace "foldername" with the actual name of the folder you want to delete.
5. The Command Prompt will execute the command and delete the folder along with its subfolders without any prompt.

– Provides a direct way to delete folders.
– Allows you to delete folders that are locked or have long paths.
– Executes commands quickly and efficiently.

– Requires advanced knowledge of Command Prompt commands.
– Can potentially delete important system folders if used incorrectly.

Method 3: Unlocking the Folder with Third-Party Tools

If the folder you want to delete is locked by a process or program, you can use third-party unlocking tools to release the lock and delete the folder. Here’s how:

1. Download and install a reliable unlocking tool like "Unlocker" or "IObit Unlocker."
2. Launch the unlocking tool and browse for the folder you want to delete.
3. Select the folder and click on the relevant unlock option in the software.
4. The tool will attempt to terminate any processes or programs that are using the folder, allowing you to delete it.

– Provides a simple and intuitive interface for unlocking folders.
– Allows you to delete folders that are locked by other processes.
– Can be used for multiple folders and files simultaneously.

– Requires the installation of third-party software.
– May not always be successful in unlocking folders.

Method 4: Using Safe Mode

If all the above methods fail to delete the access denied folder, you can try deleting it in Safe Mode. Safe Mode starts your computer with a minimal set of drivers and services, allowing you to troubleshoot issues more effectively. Here’s how to delete an access denied folder in Safe Mode:

1. Restart your computer.
2. As the computer boots up, press the F8 key repeatedly until the Advanced Boot Options menu appears.
3. Use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode" and press Enter.
4. Once in Safe Mode, navigate to the location of the folder you want to delete.
5. Right-click on the folder and select "Delete."
6. Confirm the deletion when prompted.

– Starts the computer with a minimal set of drivers, reducing potential conflicts.
– Allows you to delete stubborn files or folders in a simplified environment.

– Some features and functionalities may be limited in Safe Mode.
– Only recommended for advanced users as it involves modifying system settings.

What to Do If You Can’t Delete the Access Denied Folder

If you find that none of the methods mentioned above are successful in deleting the access denied folder on your Windows 10 computer, here are a few additional things you can try:

– Restart your computer: Sometimes, simply restarting your computer can resolve temporary issues that prevent you from deleting the folder. This can release any locked files or processes associated with the folder.

– Use a file shredder program: If the folder contains sensitive or confidential information, you can use a file shredder program to securely delete it. Unlike traditional deletion methods, file shredders overwrite the data several times, ensuring it is unrecoverable.

– Contact support: If the access denied folder is related to a specific software or program, reaching out to the software’s support team can provide valuable insights and potential solutions.

Bonus Tips

– Take ownership of the entire drive: If you frequently encounter "Access Denied" errors while deleting folders, you can take ownership of the entire drive on which the folders are located. This will grant you full control and permissions over all files and folders on the drive.

– Use alternative file explorers: If the default Windows File Explorer is causing issues while deleting folders, you can try using alternative file explorers like Total Commander, XYplorer, or FreeCommander. These file explorers often provide additional features and greater control over file management.

– Use a bootable operating system: If all else fails, you can create a bootable USB drive or DVD with a separate operating system like Linux. Booting from this alternate operating system allows you to access and delete the access denied folder without any restrictions imposed by Windows.

5 FAQs

Q1: Why am I getting an "Access Denied" error when trying to delete a folder?

A: The "Access Denied" error occurs when you do not have the necessary permissions or when the folder is locked by another process or program.

Q2: Can I permanently delete an access denied folder without using any third-party tools?

A: Yes, you can permanently delete an access denied folder without third-party tools by following the methods mentioned in this blog post.

Q3: Will changing folder permissions affect other files and folders?

A: Changing folder permissions will only affect the specific folder and its subfolders if the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" option is checked.

Q4: Is it safe to use third-party unlocking tools?

A: It is generally safe to use reputable third-party unlocking tools, but caution should always be exercised when downloading and installing software from the internet.

Q5: Can I delete an access denied folder in Safe Mode if it contains system files?

A: Deleting system files in Safe Mode can potentially cause system instability or prevent your computer from booting properly. It is not recommended to delete system folders in Safe Mode unless you have expert knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Encountering an "Access Denied" error when trying to delete a folder can be frustrating, but it is not an insurmountable challenge. By following the methods outlined in this blog post, you can regain control over your files and delete access denied folders on your Windows 10 computer. Remember to exercise caution while deleting any files or folders, especially if they contain important or system-related data. With the right knowledge and tools, you can confidently manage your files and maintain a clutter-free computer environment.