How to Change the Ownership and Permissions of a Folder or Drive

In this Windows XP tutorial I will show you how to change to ownership and permissions of a drive, folder or file. Sometimes we need to get access to files and we find out that we don’t permission to view the files. This is a common problem when a person needs to get access to some important system files or if a person needs to get access to another drive or user files. In reality, this is not a problem but a security feature that Windows has implemented so only the desired people can see the files. A common reason to change the drive ownership and permissions is when doing a data transfer from an old hard drive to a new computer. Without making any changes the person will not have access to all their files from the old drive. Let’s get started and I’ll show you how easy it is to preform this task.


1. The first step is to make sure you have access to the security options, so open up My Computer by clicking on the Start button and then click on the My Computer icon.

2. Now click on Tools from the top menu and then select Folder Options.

3. Once the folder options window appears click on the View tab and under the Advanced Settings section scroll down to the bottom and un-check the Use Simple File Sharing option. Click Apply and then OK.

The above method will only work in Windows XP Professional. If you are using Windows XP Home then you will have restart your computer and enter Safe Mode by pressing F8 before the Windows XP logo appears. Once you press F8, then select Safe Mode With Networking and then a warming screen will appear. Click Yes on the warming screen and now you will have access to the security tab.

4. Find the drive or folder you want to get access to and right-click it and then choose Properties.

5. Under the properties window select the Security tab. Now go to the bottom and click the Advanced button.

6. When the Advanced window appears click the Owner tab and then select the Administrators Group (the one with two heads) and check the Replace Owner on Subcontainers and Objects. Once you’ve done that click Apply.

7. Next step is to go to the Permissions tab and under the Permission Entries section again select the Administrators and check the Replace Permission Entries on All Child Objects With Entries Shown Here That Apply to Child Objects box. Now click the Apply button. A warning message will pop up asking for you to confirm this step, click Yes.

8. Now click OK on all the open windows and open the desired folder. You will now have access to the folder or drive that you want.


– Remember to restore the folder view options in Windows XP Pro after you’ve changed the permissions and ownership so you won’t have any file sharing issues.

That’s it! It’s really that simple. We hope the tutorial “How to Change the Ownership and Permissions of a Folder or Drive” using Windows XP has helped you with your computer repair issue.

You can watch this tutorial on video by clicking the play button below. For the full screen version click the second button from the right on the video.


If you need more help regarding this Windows XP “How to Change the Ownership and Permissions of a Folder or Drive” tutorial then let us know by visiting our Repair Questions page.