Tech Tip of the Week: Take Ownership of Windows 7 and Vista Files with a Shortcut

By on March 3, 2010, 4:46 AM
While Windows 7 is a largely polished upgrade from Vista, a few headaches have carried over. Among them is a security feature that assigns ownership of many system and program files to an entity called "TrustedInstaller."

Such a design is useful in the presence of inexperienced users, who might otherwise accidentally delete or modify important files. However, for the tech savvy, it can be an aggravating obstacle.


Taking ownership generally requires you to dive in and out of GUI menus, or break out the command prompt. It's far more complicated than it needs to be, and thankfully, there's a very basic fix that should work on any 32 or 64-bit copy of Windows Vista or 7. The shortcut consists in placing a "Take Ownership" option on the context (right-click) menu.

Continue reading our Tech Tip of the Week.




User Comments: 13

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Docnoq said:

What exactly is the benefit of "owning" your system files?

windmill007 said:

Humm never see that...Wonder if that one of the benefits of turning off the crappy UAC. If your a power user u don't need UAC or that other garbage getting in the way. I guess for people who have no idea.. anything that helps them stay more secure is a good thing. I hate when I work on some newbies PC. That UAC is sooo annoying!

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

You don't want to own all of your system files, but there are instances when you need to delete or modify a file and lack the permission to do so. I've come across this many times -- the average user might not, but that's really not who the tip is aimed at .

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Yea this is nice, I found a version of this long ago on a site that shall be unnamed

Anyway, something that annoys my is that I dualboot Win7 with WinXP x64, and that introduces an issue with file permissions;

Files I create in WinXP are "read only" in Win7 unless I take ownership of them in Win7

So if I for example upgrade some app that I use in both WinXP and Win7 from within XP it will fail to work properly in Win7 if it requires file modify permissions

Is there some other way to "fix" this issue except turning off UAC and making my user account in Win7 a real admin account?

elroacho72 said:

I have been needeing something like this for a long time. ThANKS

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I came across something similar on Windows Vista a while back while move a bunch of files off a friends old XP PC to there new one with Vista. But with vista when you clicked to open the files it came up with a pop up that say, "You do not have permission to view these files. Do you want to take owner ship of them?" (or something close to that) Easy as that. It was a bit unnerving with how easy it was to trash the old permissions and get access to the files.....

byadao said:

I installed the "Firefox add-on that lets you modify your status bar icons,"

Works great for me! I recommend to other Firefox users.

helobuff said:

This is a nice option .. Its great because if you are a novice it keeps you from screwing up your computer and if your an advanced IT person it allows you to take ownership of a file to move or modify on demand. Sweet add on.

fref said:

Thanks for the tip! I can recall two or three times when that would have been useful. I'm keeping this in my toolbox!

Thompson said:

Great tip, i've been wanting to clear out my context menu!

kweeny said:

Thanx for this tip, just what I've been looking for. Works great. Searching for this got me here and looks like becoming a habit.

Guest said:

After running this certain file icons turned to the generic windows ones, such as Office executables, PDF files, etc. What is the remedy to get those back?

Guest said:

works like a charm. Thanks

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