Fixed: You need administrator permission to delete this file

Updated on November 6th, 2020

The point of this article is to help you deal with “Access Denied. You need administrator permission to delete this file” and similar errors. This guide includes steps to take ownership and permission of the file or folder so that you can change settings, copy or delete files without problem.

What’s the require administrator permission issue?

“Folder Access Denied. You’ll need to provide administrator permission to delete this file/folder.” error is very common in Windows computer. When you access files, you may also encounter other similar errors such as:

  • File (Folder) Access Denied. You need permission to perform this action. You require permission from to make changes to this file.
  • Access Denied. You will need to provide administrator permission to change these settings. Click Continue to complete this operation.
  • Destination Folder Access Denied. You’ll need to provide administrator permission to copy to this folder.

It seems that this is simply a permission issue, but some users do log in as Administrator and still can’t delete files or change settings. Thus error is kind of annoying and looks like a system.

Why does your file/ folder need administrator permission?

This permission error appears due to the increased security and privacy features of Windows operating system. Some actions require users provide administrator permission to copy / delete /rename files or change settings. Such permission prevents unauthorized users such as guest users, and external sources like scripts from accessing system data. When virus attacks computer, it attempts to again administrator access to operating system so that it takes advantage of system vulnerabilities.

File permission is set to restrict unauthenticated objects from taking full control of files, helping Windows detect whether the user or object can gain special file access and write permission. File access permission can be changed by administrators.

Without proper permission, users can’t perform certain operations and gets error messages mentions above. Therefore we can change access permission and take ownership of system files to get rid of this problem.

Approach to modify ownership and permissions for folders and files

  1. Find the file or folder you want to delete or access from Windows Explorer. Right click it and choose Properties from menu.
  2. Select Security tab from the Properties window and click Advanced button.
  3. Continue click Owner tab from the Advanced Security Settings and you can see the current owner is TrustedInstaller.
  4. Click Edit button and choose user who you want to change owner. If your account is Administrator account, then choose it. Click OK and the current owner becomes the one you just selected. If you want to delete multiple files in a folder, then check off “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects”
  5. Click OK button on all Properties windows and then close it. Again right click the file or folder that you cannot delete and choose Properties again.
  6. Click Security tab again and hit Edit button this time.
  7. Click user name from the list and user name should be the same as the one who you changed the current owner. If it is not is the list, then click Add button to add it to the list.
  8. Select all boxes under Allow in the Permission for Administrator section. Click Apply and then OK button. Then you can delete file or perform actions without getting error message.You need administrator permission to delete this file