Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file error [FIXED]

In case you want to install updates or maybe you want to launch an application, this error message might appear on your screen. It will state that ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ and this error is really persistent. This sometimes also pops up when you are trying to use the functions on the taskbar, access or download files from the internet, open the pictures path in the explorer as well as use the control panel to configure your computer.

If the message ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ appears, there is also a chance that your system has a virus affecting it and it is messing with the configuration files which are essential to keep the system operational. However, the opposite might be correct and the antivirus software which you are using might also lead to the ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’. This is because the antivirus might have detected an essential system file as a virus and that false positive detection might lead to the deletion of the essential file.

There have been instances where the users have caused irreversible damage to their systems. The damage is caused by the misconfiguration of certain files which are important to the operating system. Make sure you create a system restore point so that your system will be recoverable and you can go all out on all the fixes which are mentioned below.

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4 Fixes Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file error

Fix 1: Check if the required permissions are enabled and not tampered with

  • Open up the Command Prompt by opening the Start menu and searching for CMD
  • Make sure you right click on the Command Prompt result and run it as an Administrator
  • Type takeown /f ‘the path of the file or folder’
    windows cannot access the specified device path or file
  • If it does not work for you, type: icacls “full path of file” /grant (username):F
    windows cannot access the specified device path or file
  • Once you successfully do that, reboot your computer

Alternative to the command prompt: Right click the data and click on the properties button

  • Open the Security tab and go to the Advanced Settings
  • Select the Change button which is stated next to the owner
  • Use the Advanced button in order to select the profile
  • You can also tick the Replace Owner on Subcontainers and Objects button
  • Now right click the data once more
  • Click on Properties > Security > Advanced
  • Then use the Add button > Select a Principal and set the permissions to Full Control

Restart your computer and see if this fixes the problem

If the ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ error still persists, move on to the next fix

Fix 2: Check If File is Blocked

  • Right click the data file
  • Open Properties and check if there is an Unblock option
  • In case it is blocked, unblock it
  • Hit the Apply button
  • Restart your computer so that the changes take effect

This should fix the problem

If the ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ error still persists, move on to the next fix

Fix 3: Disable your Third Party Antivirus Software

There is a chance that your antivirus software is responsible for the problems you are facing. It might have blocked the access to that file because of false positive indications. Make sure that you disable your antivirus in order to verify that.

  • Open up the antivirus software
  • Open the Settings menu
  • Disable everything including the Real Time Protection
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The problem should be solved if it is the antivirus responsible for the ‘Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permission to access the item.’ error, if not, move on to the next fix

Fix 4:Disable your Windows Firewall

There is a chance that the windows firewall is blocking the access to the device, path or file and so, to check whether the firewall is responsible, we need to disable it and see it the errors disappear.

  • Open the Start menu
  • Search for Control Panel and open it up
  • Click on the Systems and Security link and open up the Windows Firewall
    windows cannot access the specified device
  • Click on the link to turn the Firewall off and toggle it Off
  • Make sure all the changes are applied
  • Restart your computer

Conclusion:

We have provided the best methods which you can use in order to fix the ‘Windows cannot access the specified path, device, file’ error. Make sure to follow each and every step thoroughly. We hope that this helps. Good luck!

 

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