Take Ownership and Grant ‘Full Control’ Recursively

KB ID 0001200 


I had a bunch of old user profile folders I needed to delete today, When setup properly even the domain administrator can’t get in there and delete them;

001 - No Permissions

If it’s just one folder then simply take ownership, grant yourself rights and delete it! But I had a lot of folders so I needed a more robust (read less work) solution.


Take Ownership of all Folders/Sub-Folders, and Files

Open an administrative command window, and execute the following command;

takeown /a /r /d Y /f C:\{foldername}

Take Ownership all files and folders recusively

Grant ‘Full Control’ Rights to all Folders/Sub-Folders, and Files

Just because you are the owner, that does not mean you have any rights to the folders and files, to grant full control to the administrators group.

icacls C:\{foldername} /grant administrators:F /t

003 -Grant Full Control Recursively

Related Articles, References, Credits, or External Links

Can’t Delete a File or Folder or Take Ownership

Author: PeteLong

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  1. Hello Pete,

    Appreciate the help from your website but, here’s the thing.

    Some very bad russians managed to dump something on our server in the sysroot\sys32 folder and even tho your solution will grant full perms for everything, it will not release this one file. If you have any thoughts on this, they would be gladly received.

    tia if you do.


    Post a Reply
    • IF=f it’s immovable boot with a Linux DVD and mount the partition – then you will be able to delete it, or try MoveOnBoot


      Post a Reply
    • … How do you know they were Russian? Sounds a little racist to me.

      Post a Reply
      • Unless the files were in Russian? 🙂

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  2. Thanks for this tip. I had a very large music directory with a lot of unique file which I couldn’t play because the where blocked in one way or another. It took me more than a week to find out that this solution of your worked. Even a lot of unlock software solutions didn’t work, stopping the share option, copying the whole drive and use it on another pc’s, deleting or changing administrator rights. It was a hell to come up with the right solution. Thanks again. You saved my live. 😉

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  3. What is a good web page or site to learn how to use icacls ? (besides Microsoft)

    Thank you

    Post a Reply

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